Standing Up to Your Doctor

Kind of an unsettling thought, isn’t it?

The idea that you’d go to your doc to share the most private details of what’s going on with your body regarding any particular health issue for advice, confidence and a sound treatment plan, but leave feeling like you haven’t been heard, or had  been expeditiously shuffled out prematurely due to the other three patients waiting for their 15 minute visit.

It’s a situation we’ve probably all faced at one time or another.

I’ve shared a little on my background in my book; the countless visits to specialists and the E/R due to years of horrendous stomach pain and GI issues, all to be simply written off to “IBS, stress or ‘it’s in your head'”.   “Food wouldn’t likely have too much to do with the symptoms you’re experiencing”, I was told time and again.

Regardless of the reason why you’re seeing your doctor in the first place, you need to feel comfortable and supported when you meet with him or her.   As though they’re genuinely listening, are sympathetic to what you’re experiencing and that you are a unique individual and not always necessarily a case that can be generically treated.

  • Don’t accept the word of a doctor (or any professional!) as the end all.  If what they’re saying doesn’t make sense to you, or if you get the feeling that they’re not actually that interesting in what is going on with you, then it may be time to look elsewhere.
  • Don’t feel shy about interviewing them.   It’s your body, it’s your life and if the advice, medication or guidance that the doc has provided has proved to be anywhere from not helpful actually making things worse, move on.
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations as much as possible, rather than choosing off a list from your insurance company.  As with many other things, word of mouth tends to be the best referral resource.
  • If you go to a new doc and they’re obese or smoke, it may be a bad sign.  I realize this comment risks being offensive for some, but honestly, you’ve got to walk the walk.  Would you see a dentist with rotten teeth?

At the end of the day, trust your gut.   If you get a bad vibe from anyone, steer clear and look elsewhere!   You never know, you may even find a doctor who’s actually heard of, any maybe even advocates Paleo living!  They’re out there; they may be few in number but they do exist!