Some people believe providers of medical and dental care or various government agencies are responsible for their health care, but that is only part of the truth. The other side involves individuals taking a proactive stance in maintaining their good health.
An Ounce of Prevention
Make and keep regular medical and dental checkups. Use a date you’ll remember as a reminder—for example, on New Year’s Day, celebrate another year of good health by making a note to call your doctor’s office the next day. Stay informed and up-to-date regarding products and practices that enhance health. Practice the healthful habits you are learning about in this book, and avoid anything that might threaten your health.
Monitor your weight and blood pressure; perform self-examinations regularly. Make your home safe from pollution, toxins, allergens and infectious bacteria. Take responsibility for your health and the health of those you care about.
A Pound of Cure
Take care of any developing dental issues as soon as possible. Be aware of your insurance coverage—and its limits. For example, mercury-free fillings might not be covered, but paying extra for the less-toxic filling material will benefit your health in the long run. Know your rights and responsibilities as a patient. You have the right to full information about the outcomes of the care, treatment and services you receive.
You have the right to refuse treatment and seek a second opinion. Make yourself part of your own treatment team. Become a consumer of health care information. Ask questions, read health care journals and magazines, and search the Internet to find information on treatment options.
Know the medications you’re taking and why. Know their possible side effects and interactions with other prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements you are using.