4 Things Women Should Ask Their Doctor
If you have regular checkups, you’re probably familiar with how quickly the last few minutes of your appointment can fly by. After your doctor completes any physical exams, he or she may wrap things up with some polite chit-chat before asking you briskly if there’s any other questions you might have. Don’t dismiss this opportunity. You should plan to come prepared with a short list of things to ask your doctor during your next checkup.
There are lots of reasons why many women are only too happy to leave an annual checkup without asking any questions, especially if their visit did not raise any red flags. Some may feel like they don’t want to waste their doctor’s time. Others may think their questions are silly, or they are too embarrassed to ask something about their own bodies.
But questions and concerns should be heard. Regular doctor’s appointments are a great time to get your questions answered. You might want to dig deeper about a concern that’s been troubling you, or get your doctor’s opinion on a health issue you’ve been wondering about. Here are some things to ask during your next visit:
What is a healthy weight for me? Stepping on a scale is typically part of any doctor’s visit. Your weight is logged into your records, but beyond that your doctor might not mention it during your checkup unless there’s been a large fluctuation compared to your last visit. Some people are happy not to talk about their weight, but it’s a good topic to raise. Your doctor can give you an ideal healthy weight range for someone your height and age. Beyond that, they can connect you with resources. If you want to lose weight, there are likely programs you can join for support and encouragement. If you’re thinking about eating a plant-based diet, your doctor can probably recommend resources that offer tips on getting started and recipes to try.
How much exercise should I be getting? Most regular checkups won’t tread into this territory unless you bring it up. More than anything, this question will lead to you and your doctor to having a discussion about how much physical activity you are getting each week. If you are trying to get healthier, an honest examination of your exercise level is an important starting point.
Let’s talk about mental health. Seeing mental health as part of your overall health is a big step. Maybe you feel stress has become a major factor in your life. This can come from work, or from the pressure so many women feel when caring for children as well as aging family members. If this describes you, ask your doctor how chronic stress can impact your body so you can better understand the symptoms you might be feeling.
Is this normal? When it comes to your health, no question is too strange to ask. Don’t leave your checkup without asking your doctor about anything that’s been bothering you. Maybe you noticed your heart seemed to beat faster than normal during your last workout at the gym, or you’ve been grinding your teeth at night lately and it’s giving you a headache. Your doctor may not have an exact answer for you but asking the question will start you down a path where your health care provider can help you find a solution.
For Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members, make your search for a primary care physician easier by using our Find a Doctor tool.
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