Make a Healthy Fresh Start in the New Year

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: January 22, 2022

Written by Karen Giblin

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

– Albert Einstein

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

Happy New Year. At the start of a new year it is important that you take steps to make sure you get the best health care as possible.

However, lots of women feel vulnerable and dependent on their healthcare providers. But, as a woman patient, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to protect your health. In order to do this, you must give your healthcare provider detailed information about your health and ask questions.

Here are some take-charge strategies for your visit with your healthcare provider:

Prepare For Your Visit:

Bring a list of your top health concerns and list your symptoms.

  • Keep and bring a copy of your blood pressure measurements, blood sugar readings, height and weight.
  • Provide a list of all your medications and over the counter products you are taking so that interactions can be prevented.

During Your Visit:

  • Bring a family member or friend to your visit (if you are anxious).
  • Take notes during your visit.
  • Ask your healthcare provider how confident he/she is with your diagnosis.
  • Get your medical records and test results.
  • Ask for resources to learn more about your diagnosis and treatment.
  • Ask your healthcare provider to recap what he/she has told you.

After Your Visit:

When in doubt, never fail to get a second opinion.

And, don’t forget to ask your healthcare provider about the medicines they prescribe. You should do this with not only with your healthcare provider, but also with the pharmacist who fills your prescription.

Here are some questions some questions that you might consider asking:

  • What is the evidence that this medication will produce a meaningful outcome?
  • What are the benefits of taking this medication?
  • Is there another way to treat my condition besides taking this medication?
  • How should I take this medication – with food, without food, morning, evening, etc.?
  • What are the most common side effects?
  • Are there serious side effects that I should be aware of?
  • Are there any foods or beverages that should be avoided when taking this medication?
  • Are there any interactions with over-the-counter products or other medications which I am taking?
  • How can I contact you promptly if I begin having side effects from this medication?
  • How long do I need to take this medication?

If I want to stop the medication, are there special instructions to do so?

You can also find information you need about medications on the following website:

Drugs@ FDA   Find Information about a Drug | FDA This website provides information on drugs approved by the FDA including background approval documents and research.

In closing, I hope that you focus on the future and make a healthy fresh start in the new year. Start today by becoming vigilant, proactive in taking charge of your health.  As a patient, you have more power than you think. You can get the best care possible if you ask the right questions and you approach your decision making like a pro. I sincerely hope that this information provides you with simple strategies which helps you to achieve a life of better health.

Good Health to You All,

Karen Giblin