When you’re dealing with a rare or uncommon diagnosis, it’s possible to feel very much alone in trying to overcome the condition and rebuild your health. Working with a doctor who takes the time to answer your questions can help. You may also need to track your daily habits, reactions to medications, and even your diet to help you gain control over your health.

Finding Out the Medical Facts

To make sure that you ask the questions that really matter to you and to make the most of your doctor’s time, it is a good idea to do some homework. Make a list of your questions and, if possible, describe your reactions and experiences over time. If you’ve been doing your own research, make sure the data you’ve been collecting is science-based as opposed to anecdotal stories and bring a copy of your research to your appointment.

Looking Into Precedent

For those suffering from a rare or as yet undefined condition, getting help such as new medications or supplements can be challenging. However, your condition may be similar to another illness. Start there in your search for treatment approvals. Since some diseases are linked to food allergies, many of the same treatments are prescribed to deal with them. Again, be sure to track your experiences so you can present this information to your physician. Note how you feel before taking your medications and what happens after you’ve taken the dosage for the day. This information can help your team of medical professionals help you find the right diagnosis and path to better health.

Become Empowered

Learning to take an active role in your own well-being can be hard for some. If you’ve spent your life following the orders of your doctor, you may not feel it’s appropriate to ask more questions or to disagree. To become an empowered patient is not to become an argumentative patient. The goal is to become a partner in your own health care with your physician. If you are struggling with a reaction to a medication or a dietary change, keep a health journal that you can share with your physician. Research your current medications and note any side effects you’re suffering and bring these up with your doctor.

Your health has to be first and foremost your responsibility. Your care team is there to assist, educate and guide you to a healthier way of living. Be willing to learn about your condition, your dietary needs and your medications so you can take control of your health in the future.

If you’re looking for tips about being empowered to talk about mental health, read on, here!