Here’s why your health shouldn’t be a wrong number

Friday 17th Aug 2012

  • Is phone based health letting you down?
  • The secrets to getting the most out of your doctor revealed
  • Three handy tips to stop this painful problem 
  •  Last chance for our big honey offer

Grumpy old curmudgeon of Bristol here...

...I’ve just had my annual MOT with my GP, and it never leaves me in a good mood.

He has a habit of stating the obvious and quickly reaching for a prescription pad.

Yes, I am built more for comfort than for speed but that doesn’t mean that I need to be foistered onto a bunch of pills just in case my blood pressure becomes a problem...or my cholesterol level rises.

I am all for preventative medication, but getting me to take a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs on the off chance that I might benefit from them makes no sense.

But maybe I’m lucky that I got to see my GP at all.

Let me tell you a little tale about a friend of mine and a visit to the doctor's...

We'll call this friend Caroline...

Wait a minute... that IS her name!

Anyway, Caroline woke up one morning with little to no feeling in her right arm and leg,together with a sharp pain in her lower back.

Over the next couple of days the numbness wore off and returned intermittently.

A little spooky maybe, but the condition didn't worsen.

It didn't go away either, but being a stuff and nonsense person, she refused to go and see anyone about it until her husband had to practically trick her into going by leaving a trail of chocolate pieces into the doctor's surgery.

But there were no appointments for over a week.

Only phone appointments...

So two days later a doctor rang her, asked her a couple of cursory questions, then packed her off to see a physiotherapist.

'Probably a trapped nerve,' he said, and in his rush to get through a heavy workload that was that.

But that wasn't that...

The problem with remote doctoring...

The numbness didn't go away, and now Caroline's waiting on the results of an X-ray to

see what's really up with her.

It'll probably be sciatica, and more than likely everything's going to be just fine...

But the thing that worries me is, how could the first doctor be sure of what he was saying without having a little prod around first?

Now don't get me wrong... our doctors do a marvellous job. And they seem to be under enormous pressure to get through things these days.

But diagnosing over the phone...?

That seems as awkward as trying to play football over the phone (even though that would suit my skills better AND I'd look better in shorts on the phone).

And I don't know about you, but I'm pretty bad at talking on the phone. Face to face is fine, but on the phone all I think about is trying to find a way to wind it up and that's hardly the best way to conduct a check-up.

And I think Caroline suffers from the same 'phone fear' as me, which probably didn't help at all.

So whether you have to make do with a phone appointment or have to go into the surgery, here are a few things to remember to make sure you get the most out of your consultation...

Don't do their jobs for them

• The most important thing to remember is you're not the doctor. So don't try and second guess what's wrong with you. The easiest thing in the world is starting with something like 'I'm being stupid... I think I've just pulled a muscle in my chest...’ as doing this could send your doctor down the wrong route.

So, when explaining the problem, just stick to the symptoms and let your doctor figure out what's wrong with you. It's better to say 'I sweat at night, I feel cold, and my muscles ache' rather than say 'I think I've got the flu.'

• Do some research, but hold fire. It's fine to do a little digging and see what could be the problem, but wait till your doctor's checked you over and made a decision. If you think it could be something else - say so, and let your doctor explain why that's not the case.

It's always good to be told that you HAVEN'T got a certain illness, and worrying about something can cause a fair bit of damage in its own right. So if there's something on your mind spit it out and let your doctor explain.

• Introduce alternative remedies... depending on your doctor, they'll either be fully aware and open to alternative remedies, or they won't be up to speed on the latest ideas and treatments.

So once you know what's up, talk about the alternatives before you commit to a prescription drug. Of course, I'm not saying you shouldn't take a drug your doctor prescribes - but sometimes they can reach for the pad out of habit.

• Ask about prevention... rather than just trying to snuff out the symptoms, see if there's something you can do to prevent the cause.

Run through your lifestyle with your doctor, including diet, exercise, your job, how much sleep you get, how much you smoke and drink etc, and see if there's anything you could be including naturally that could help iron out the problem.

To give you a head start, here are 3 natural remedies that could help ease common causes for numbness...

• Often nerves can be affected by muscles as they pass over and through them. The common description of this is impingement or entrapment, and it occurs frequently in the neck (affecting the arm) and in the buttocks (affecting the legs).

One of the causes of sciatica is from a little muscle called piriformis (Greek for pear shaped don’t you know!) which sits amongst the buttock muscles. Finding an effective stretch for this often relieves the pain associated with this condition.

Google (other search engines are available) for piriformis stretches for leg pain, and scalene stretches for arm pain and have a go.

• Devil's Claw is a herb found in the Kalahari Desert, and is used to fight osteo-arthritis, rheumatism, lower backache... in fact anything connected with joint discomfort!

This herb is packed with all sorts of useful ingredients (glycoside and beta-sitosterol to name but two).

• A little-known cause of numbness... anaemia can cause numbness and tingling in the feet and legs, so the first thing to do is go and get a blood test (no - not over the phone – in person!). If you suffer from anaemia, one of the best reported remedies is Barley Grass, which is said to give a tremendous boost to energy.

This sounds like pretty powerful stuff, so talk this through with your doctor before taking it, but if you get the all clear then give it a go!

Okay, that's all for today. I'll be back on Sunday with more notes and ideas on the best natural ways to help you have a healthy life.

Act Quickly – Our free honey offer is about to run out

 Last Sunday we offered a fantastic chance to get free honey, and we are just about to run out, so don’t delay get your order in NOW – Click Here, and good luck!

Yours, as always





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