What Your GP Wants You To Know Before You Make An Appointment

What Your GP Wants You To Know Before You Make An Appointment

A recent reported showed one in four doctor’s appointments are wasted on mundane issues that we can easily resolve ourselves. With that in mind, we spoke to TV’s Dr Hilary Jones, Non-Executive Director at MedTate, to find out how we can look after ourselves, what signs to look out for, and the key health issues that more often than not don’t warrant an appointment...

Doctors Shouldn’t Be Your Port Of Call For Weight Loss

“The most common thing I see people for that is often unnecessary, is weight loss. This may sound strange considering the nation is facing an epidemic of obesity, and one of diabetes as a consequence, but I would say that the help a doctor can provide within a seven to 12-minute consultation isn’t the best way to tackle it. Doctors can certainly point out the risks and consequences of being overweight, and we can assess the magnitude of the problem, but while we can lead a horse to water, we cannot make it drink it. So, try to assess whether your weight really needs an appointment first before you make one. Those with specific eating disorders should of course obtain help, but by and large overweight people are much more likely to succeed with weight loss by joining organisations like Lighterlife, Weight Watchers or Slimming World, all of whom have reputable good track records.”

Insomnia Can Be Treated By You With A Little Effort

“I am completely sympathetic to people whose insomnia is making their lives miserable, but so many people don’t help themselves. They burn the candle at both ends and wonder why they’re so tired. They have TVs in their rooms and use their iPads, laptops and smart phones until the early hours. They drink caffeinated drinks all day and alcohol at night, then fail to prioritise the worries and concerns that revolve in their heads. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all guilty of it from time to time, but most of us have now forgotten what relaxation means, and that certainly cannot be found through binge watching episodes of Game of Thrones. The key is to address these lifestyle issues first, you’ll soon find you don’t need to consult your doctor, who, if they have any sense, are not going to prescribe you with sedatives anyway.”

Backache Is Rarely A Sinister Issue

“Millions of us suffer from a bad back, but few do anything to prevent it. Only 2% of backache has any sinister underlying cause, and most cases would settle with individualised rehab, but many of us don’t have the patience to practice it. Yes, there is about 15% of cases that are due to a slipped disc, but the vast majority of those who suffer with back pain are usually experiencing muscle strain, inflexibility, ligament damage or inflammation in the facet joints between the vertebrae. Another key cause is bad posture, which leads to our muscles weakening over time. To rid pain, regular exercise that strengthens the core is key. Think Pilates and yoga, both of which work wonders to soothe inflammation.”

Common Colds Don’t Need A GP’s Guidance

“There really is little point coming to the doctors with a common cold. You’ll only succeed in spreading germs around the waiting room to others, some of whom will be vulnerable because of chest or heart conditions. When it comes to general colds, there is little your GP can do other than reassure you and then refuse to give you any inappropriate antibiotic – with any luck. Try and treat yourself at home and only seek out an appointment if your symptoms are consistent and continue beyond ten days.”

GP’s Do Understand That Self-Diagnosis Is Hard

“We do appreciate that self-help and basic medical knowledge is easier said than done. Many people harbour fears and concerns based on individual personal experiences, which is completely understandable. To this end, I recently decided to work in association with the nutraceutical company MedTate, who are providing people with the education they need so that they can maintain their wellness. MedTate are communicating this to pharmacies so that they can offer useful and practical health and well-being advice in order to prevent people from booking unnecessary GP appointments.”

The Power Of A Supplement Shouldn’t Be Underestimated

“Health supplements, vitamins, herbs and minerals can all mitigate against the ravages of illness, pollution and dietary deficiency, while optimising good health in pregnancy too. These types of remedies shouldn’t be ignored and are a good starting point when you’re feeling under the weather. Make sure you do ask for your local pharmacist’s advice if you have any allergies or specific symptoms worth knowing about, or even if you just want to know which products are best suited to your needs.” 

Where Possible, Be An Advocate For Your Own Health

“As in so many cases, education in health and medicine is key. Knowing the benefits of being a normal weight and taking regular exercise is a great incentive to enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Prioritising one’s health over work commitments and relentless hedonistic pursuits is equally important. Why balloon out to 25 stone and then expect the doctor to perform heroic surgery after the event? Addictions once acquired are difficult to throw off. Much better to stay on course in the first place. I’m a firm believer that self-help and looking out for number one can achieve a lot when it comes to your health – both mentally and physically.” 

Remember, GP’s Will Always Want To Help

“I would hope that all GP’s are always ready to help people who have already addressed any lifestyle issues making them feel unwell. We will always be sympathetic and helpful to anyone with genuine concerns and whose persistent symptoms (ten days and over) remain potentially significant and unexplained – so never be put off coming to us. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms of something serious, always seek out your doctor. But also remember to listen to your body, look after it, respect it and know its limitations. You have more control than you think.”

For more information visit MedTate.co.uk

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily