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10 Things Your Doctor Doesn't Have time to Tell You!

By Jamie McManus M.D.
Women's Health Expert
Updated: December 10, 2008
6) Don't ignore stress. Stress contributes negatively to just about every condition imaginable. Additionally, it's often difficult to determine the difference between "ordinary stress" vs. depression vs. an anxiety disorder. Too often stress is treated with medication, because that's the easy and quick approach for the time-constrained physician. Other options include deep breathing, exercise, yoga, and massage. Recommend a counselor, possibly through their church or a licensed marriage & family counselor if appropriate.

7) How to lose weight sensibly. The vast majority of women over age 55 have been dieting since their teens. From the days of Twiggy - to today's obsessive media reporting on who's too thin, too fat or which star has an eating disorder; the end result is destructive dieting cycles which can lead to disordered eating, particularly in women. Physicians should counsel their patients on a) whether or not they need to lose weight---another entire discussion should ensue if there is a sense of distorted body image. b) healthy and scientifically sound ways to lose weight and importance of activity and exercise in weight management.

8) Fat is good for you! (Especially your brain, heart, skin and hair). All fat is not bad. There is ample evidence today that Americans are grossly deficient in omega-3 fatty acid intake, and this shortage may contribute to the increase rate of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, as well as heart disease and Alzheimer's. Physicians should ensure patients know the difference between the good and bad fats, and sources of each.

9) Sleep is incredibly important. Adults need seven to eight hours a night and this amount does NOT decline with age. It is not acceptable to perpetuate the myth that we need less sleep as we age. Lack of sleep impacts the immune system, mood, energy levels, productivity and more!

10) Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can almost always be improved with diet and lifestyle - medication need not be required. Fiber, probiotics, exercise, attention to a few dietary changes---and even massage and yoga should be tried before resorting to pharmaceuticals.

Bottom line: The Physician-patient relationship is an incredibly important partnership---information, trust and confidence are key. They must give you all the tools needed to help you stay well and healthy.
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