5 Ways You Can Become an Advocate for Your Own Health
According to experts, becoming your own advocate can give you more control over your healthcare decisions, increase your medical literacy, produce better health outcomes and increase your confidence in your medical decisions. These are five ways you can take charge of your health.
1. Live a Healthier Lifestyle
One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to live a healthier lifestyle. Start by eating a combination of healthy foods, including vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Reduce your consumption of salt, sugar, and saturated fat. Cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink. Don't smoke. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. If you are having trouble fitting exercise into your routine because of your work schedule, try incorporating more activity into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and going for a walk on your lunch break.
2. Organize Your Medical Records
Most people see more than one medical provider, and your records could be scattered among several different databases. Get copies of your X-rays and medical images and store them in one file by using an online tool. Upload the images from your device, merge videos online for free, and then download the new file. You can also digitize any medical records that are not already available in an electronic format. Use a secure cloud storage option or create a secure folder on your computer to make sure that your records are protected.
3. Use Your Affordable Care Act Benefits for Free Preventive Care
The ACA requires most health plans to cover specific preventive services for all adults, women, and children. Preventive services for all adults include alcohol misuse screening, substance abuse counseling, blood pressure screening, colorectal cancer screening, cholesterol screening, depression screening, diabetes screening, and diet counseling. Services for women include breastfeeding support, birth control, maternal depression screening, and urinary tract screening. Additional preventive care is covered for older adults and adults in specific high-risk groups.
4. Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because many people who have it don't have any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause kidney, brain, heart, and other diseases. Most medical care providers routinely check blood pressure as part of medical exams. If you have had a high blood pressure reading, you may benefit from checking your blood pressure yourself by either using a machine provided at a pharmacy or purchasing a home blood pressure monitor.
5. Practice Safe Sex
Safe sex practices, such as using condoms and limiting the number of partners you have, can reduce your risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Talk to your doctor about other preventive options, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis. Regular medical care and advice from medical professionals are important for good health. However, it is also important for people to be personally involved in advocating for your own health. Shop Lau Botanicals for the health products you need that are Hawaiian botanicals infused.