It’s time for your doctor’s appointment. Whether you go once a year or once a month, there are certain things you should do to prepare.

Make sure you have prepared a list of questions. Write them down. You may think you will remember everything you want to ask, but believe me, if I don’t write my questions down, I get home and realize I have forgotten to ask something.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Doctors love an engaged patient, and there are no silly questions when it comes to your health. You are the expert on “you” and no one knows your body better or when something isn’t quite right. Trust your instincts and be an active participant in your health care. If you don’t feel like you are being listened to, get a second opinion.

Take a list of all your medications with you. Better yet, take your prescription bottles into the office, along with your over-the-counter medicines like vitamins and ibuprofen. Make sure your doctor knows all the medications you are taking and if there could be any interactions.

Ask why you are on your medications in the first place. Confirm that you need an antibiotic for your illness. Ask if there is anything you need to avoid when taking your medications, like certain foods or sun exposure.

Ask about your lab test and blood work results. Know your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers and what they mean. Ask your doctor what resources he or she recommends so you can better learn about your medical condition. Ask about good websites to visit to educate yourself.

Some questions I like to ask are, “What should I work on before I see you next time?” And “What kind of activity do you recommend for me?”

Ask the best way to lose weight or how to begin an exercise program. You can even ask your doctor what he or she does to support their own personal wellness. Now that is thought-provoking! I wonder what answers you’ll get.

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