Sometimes it’s hard enough getting to the Naturopath’s office, never mind trying to remember facts when you’re filling out of forms. Starting your own patient file is a great way to keep track of your medical history and treatment plans so you can address them quickly and effectively at each visit. Having dates, test results, contact information and medications at the ready eases the stress of trying to recall pertinent facts when you’re not feeling your best.
Sometimes we’re are a bit unsure when it comes to our symptoms – we can describe them but we’re not able to pinpoint when or how often they happen. We also tend to remember more when we’re not feeling well versus when we are. Having a current record handy ensures accuracy and shows any patterns that may be emerging. Bringing in a copy of your blood work and a list of your current supplements or medications allows your naturopath to get a quick overview of any nutrients you may be lacking or of any possible contraindications when prescribed treatments.
Get in the habit of jotting down health changes as they happen. Whether you keep a running log on your smart phone or in a journal where you’re better able to chart improvements or how you’re reacting to certain supplements or remedies. Keeping track of what works and what doesn’t can help pinpoint any correlations or triggers or whether your symptoms may be food related or perhaps an emotional or stress issue.
Here’s a checklist to help build your own personal health profile. Compile the information in a designated notebook or keep on file on your computer or smart phone for easy updating:
Basic medical information
Include current height, weight, blood type and any allergies to foodor medications. Use a reliable scale to find out your weight instead of estimating
Current blood work
Ask for copies or some results can even be accessed online and printed to take with you
Are you diabetic? Have a heart condition? Suffer from eczema? Listing past and current conditions ensures that you don’t forget anything that might be of importance during a consultation or examination
A list of current medications or supplements
From doctor prescribed pills to vitamins and natural supplements. List daily dosage and frequency
Healthcare Practitioner contact information
We don’t always carry our chiropractor or physiotherapist’s phone numbers with us. Keeping them handy for quick reference saves time and guesswork
Family history including parents and grandparents
Ailments affecting a generation or two ago can be related to symptoms we may be experiencing today. Ask family members about those who may have passed on. You may start to see a thread of certain cancers or diseases running through the family
Surgeries, accidents or trauma
An accident that happened months ago can have medical consequences today. Dates of any surgeries or trauma to our bodies are important. Our memories are not always accurate
Recent travel history
It’s easy to catch a virus, especially when traveling to a third world country. Document where you’ve traveled and how long you were in each area in case you develop any symptoms after you get home
A log recording any changes in mood
Have you been feeling more sad, angry or having extreme mood swings lately? Changes may have been occurring longer than you think. Documenting how you feel may show patterns that can be helpful in diagnosing anxiety disorders
Description of your work and any stresses associated
Where we spend the majority of our time can give clues to how we’re feeling, particularly if we deal with a demanding boss or co-worker conflicts on a regular basis. Environment is also important, especially if you’re noticing any allergy, coughs or headache symptoms