Stay healthy by ensuring that you have a dream team of experts and supporters on your side. The 10 baseline members recommended are:
You are on the job daily. Only you know what your limits are. Most times, you are the first one to notice any problems. So, listen to your body. Write down questions to ask your doctors, and take notes during visits so that you can review the answers and instructions later.
You are also in charge of recruiting the second and most important person: Your Co-Captain.
You and your Co-Captain work together to guarantee you are in prime shape. The main roles of your primary care physician are to teach you how to stay healthy to diagnose and treat you when you are sick. It is important to have a doctor with whom you are comfortable discussing sensitive issues.
While it is recommended choosing a general practitioner, the benefit of having an M.D. as your Co-Captain is that he or she is uniquely trained at assembling the rest of your Wellness Team and referring you to specialists who can snoop out problems when you need medical detective work.
This person, usually a family member or friend, accompanies you to visits when you are ill and helps you stick to a healthy lifestyle program. You can also have a nurse practitioner who can make your road to Wellness easier by teaching you about your medications and getting you into a fitness program.
Managing stress is crucial as it can interfere with sleep, lead to weight gain and lower your immunity; stress can even worsen diabetes and heart disease. This person can be a social worker, a psychologist or even a psychiatrist. In western countries, people also take support of a qualified and licensed marriage and family therapist to tackle issues in family, marriage or work-place.
Food is medicine. People who eat more healthy fats, legumes, whole grains – and who limit sugar, red meat and refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pasta and rice – are less likely to develop chronic diseases. A dietitian can help you figure out your food needs based on your desired weight, blood pressure, blood sugar level and other goals.
If you want to go one step further, a chef trained in healthy cooking can help you improve your culinary skills. This is especially beneficial if you have to alter your diet to control a condition such as diabetes.
Exercise is a drug which has numerous health benefits from controlling blood pressure to managing your weight and reducing stress. Having someone by your side trained in the science of fitness will not only motivate you but also help you avoid injury. Your doctor can refer you to a professional.
Remember: always get your doctor’s approval before starting any new fitness routine.
Ancient movement techniques like yoga, tai chi and qigong (chee-gong) can relax your mind and increase flexibility, improving the connection between your physical and mental states. The roots of yoga go back more than 5,000 years, a testament to its enduring value. Today, many people do yoga because it makes them feel centered and relaxed. Modern science has even begun to pay attention, as the practice helps prevent arthritis, asthma, heart disease and diabetes. Yoga can help you stem the ageing process itself.
(** Consult your Co-Captain before beginning any new exercise program)
A pharmacist should do more than just dispense the medicines over the counter as prescribed by your doctor. Pharmacists are trained professionals who know a lot about how medicine affects the body. It is important to find a pharmacist you like and stick with him. This way, he can keep an up-to-date profile of your medical history, allergies and medications. Your pharmacist can also review your profile to see whether any of your current medicines might interact with a new one you are prescribed.
Dental visits are a must to care for your whole body. Gum disease is a leading cause of body-wide inflammation and can increase your risk for conditions such as diabetes. An appointment every six months for cleaning and check-up is recommended.
Our eyes need regular exams because eye problems are very treatable when detected early. Your eye doctor should be an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor who provides total eye care, from vision checks to disease diagnosis and surgery. You should visit your doctor at least once in a year.
Any condition of the skin, hair or nails should be evaluated by a dermatologist. It is especially important to have a full-body skin check once a year after age 50 or annually at any age if you have suspicious moles or risk factors such as a family history of skin cancer, fair skin, light-colored eyes, red or blond hair, skin that is freckled or burns easily, or a history of tanning. Most skin cancer is treatable if spotted early.
Always remember to keep your primary doctor abreast of your care with other health practitioners. He or she can still provide valuable input in tailoring your treatment plan and needs to stay in the loop so you can receive the best care.
The information shared is solely intended to present alternate views and not to diagnose or claim to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure health conditions. No attempt is being made to recommend specific products as treatment of disease. In presenting this information, no attempt is being made to provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, or apply medical, mental health or human development principles, to provide diagnosing, treating, operating or prescribing for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition.
The reader is made aware that this information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information accumulated from various sources. It is strongly encouraged to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. You and only you are responsible if you choose to do anything based on what you read.