Many people take their health for granted, preoccupying themselves with other life concerns and putting off check-ups and other forms of preventative care. While other concerns may seem more immediate in the moment, nothing is more important than your health. Once that is gone, you are no longer in a condition to take care of any of those other things that you thought were so important. One of the most significant things you can do to take care of your health is to educate yourself about it. Here are some reasons that it can benefit you.
1. Early Detection May Mean a Better Outcome
Medical school board members, such as Christopher Sarofim, agree that the chances of successfully treating many diseases improves if they are caught early and not allowed to progress. However, the early signs of many illnesses can be subtle and easy to miss. Educating yourself about health gives you a keener awareness of symptoms that may indicate serious illness so that you can bring them to the attention of your doctor in a timely manner.
2. It Is Easier To Identify Untrustworthy Sources of Information
The internet makes it easier to find and share information about health. Unfortunately, however, not all of this information is reliable. Sometimes it comes from people who are sincere in their desire to help but do not have the necessary training to verify the information or present it in a way that is useful. Others have ulterior motives for spreading false or misleading information to convince people to buy into a new fad that does not work as advertised and may actually be harmful. The more educated you are about health, the easier it will be for you to identify information that is reliable and comes from trustworthy sources. This is particularly important when a rapidly evolving health situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, develops and the information changes quickly as doctors and researchers learn more.
3. You Are Not the Only One Who Can Benefit
You may have family members for whom you are a caregiver, such as a young child or an incapacitated adult. These family members may not recognize their own symptoms or realize their significance. It is up to you to observe them for signs of possible malady and take whatever action is necessary. For example, a condition that may be life-threatening may warrant an immediate visit to the emergency room. Others are less urgent but should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. Your loved one's health and wellbeing is your responsibility, and educating yourself about them helps you to fulfill it to the extent of your ability.
4. You Can Ask Your Doctor Better Questions
Doctors encourage you to be an active participant in your own health care. Even a thorough physical examination cannot reveal to them what you are thinking. You may have questions or concerns that they do not address in discussing your condition with you, or they may give you information that you do not understand.
Some people have difficulty asking questions of their doctors. There are many reasons why, but part of the difficulty may be a lack of confidence about the subject matter. Educating yourself about health lays a strong foundation on which you can base a productive discussion with your doctor about your condition.
5. You Will Be More Informed While Giving Consent
Doctors have an obligation to obtain informed consent from a patient before providing many types of tests or treatments. This usually takes the form of a discussion of the proposed treatment, as well as its risks, benefits, and alternatives, with the patient. The doctor may augment this with written information. Educating yourself about health helps you to understand more easily what your doctor proposes. Furthermore, if you are still unsure about the diagnosis or treatment and want to seek a second opinion, you will be better prepared to explain the situation to the other physician.
Self-education about health can lead to better care, not only for yourself but also for the people you love.
About the Creator
Kari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.