My Best Doctor Tips for Navigating Healthy Choices

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my closet the past few weeks, and it’s not because I’m indecisive about what to wear.

I’ve actually been recording my audiobook, and since I’m not Oprah or David Sedaris, I don’t have a sound studio. The next best thing is a closet that is a quiet place for clear recordings.

It’s been an emotional ride, and I’m down to my last box of tissues, because reading the manuscript out loud is surfacing all those hilarious highs, sad lows, and learning moments that I wrote about nearly ten years ago.

Because this project has literally been a labor of love, I decided to have my kids record the “About the author” page. Who better than your own blood to tell the world about you as the author?

It’s hard to believe my book launch is now less than a month away (yikes!), but I’m grateful for the publicity that’s making it very real.

In connection with my launch, I recently wrote an article about “3 Expert Tips for Navigating Healthy Choices.” Because I take my patients’ health as seriously as my own, I’m sharing them with you today.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Making the most of the sunny season and back-to-school months means feeling your best. Nobody wants to be nursing a cold or an injury when blue skies are beckoning. That’s why I’m giving you three doctor’s-choice pro tips for your best summer and fall yet:

1. Surround yourself with a great team.

Your body is a complex system, and no single doctor has all the training and answers you need. Build a team of providers you trust who will answer your questions (without patronizing you), empower you with information, and give you the time you need to process your options.

Most importantly, identify professionals who are willing to admit when they don’t know the answers and will do the necessary homework to make helpful referrals when necessary. If you do your due diligence before you get sick, then you won’t have to undergo this process when you’re not feeling well. Get to know great providers now.

Some factors to consider:

  • Personal fit: A doctor-patient relationship is as important as any personal relationship in your life—maybe more. Trust your gut and choose a doctor who makes you feel at ease. A doctor who treats you with respect is someone who will be a better advocate when you need it most.
  • Experience and reviews: How much experience does the doctor have, and what do their reviewers say? These days, you can get online and see what current patients have reported. Seek referrals from friends and family members. If your referral isn’t taking new patients, ask that referral to give you someone they recommend. Great doctors tend to run in the same circles.
  • Qualifications and coverage: Is the person licensed and accredited to practice medicine in your country or region? Do they specialize in your specific area of inquiry? Does your insurance plan cover many or most of their treatments? If not, find out what their rates are.

2 Make yourself the captain.

There’s a great quote by author Edward Henheffer that goes, “Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice!” Don’t forget that you’re the most important expert on your team.

You have direct access, firsthand knowledge of what’s going on in your body and how you feel. My patients fondly call me the Poop Doctor because I’m a big fan of gut health. The direct link to knowing what’s going on in your gut is your poop! In fact, I’ve written an entire chapter about poop in my book.

As the captain of your team, I encourage you to lead by example; know your poop and learn what it’s telling you, drink plenty of water, eat real food, meditate, exercise, and find enjoyment in something…anything! Trust yourself, and make sure what you choose to do feels like the right decision. Remember, you can always pivot or make a change.

3. There are many paths to the same goal.

Be curious. Ask questions to gain a better understanding of your options. Think of your doctors as people whose job it is to present you with options rather than give you your only option. Remember that there are many paths to the same goal—Functional medicine, Western medicine, Eastern medicine, and Mind-Body medicine, to name a few.

It’s your body and your health; don’t let anyone else tell you it isn’t. Prioritize what is most important to you, not to others. For instance, your husband may tell you to lose weight, your best friend may want a partner in getting Botox, and your kids may worry about your borderline diabetes, but you want to fix your feelings of fatigue.

Start by working on what is most important to you. Find other like-minded people for support and encouragement because discovering the right path can take time. Keep at it, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that there is nothing wrong with you or that there is nothing that can be done. There is always something you can do, especially because you’re the captain of your own team.

Be positively altered,

Dr. Cindy

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