Be Your Own Health Detective
By Georgianna Donadio, MSc., PhD.
Is your health being negatively impacted by chronic symptoms which no one, not even your doctor, can identify the cause of? In today’s healthcare landscape of rising care costs and overworked providers, learning the skills to act as your own health detective is critical to achieving maximum whole health and preventing chronic disease. This post will explore the value of being able to investigate the causes of our health conditions and provide simple action steps.
What is a Health Detective?
Also known as a whole health coach, a health detective is an individual who approaches their condition judiciously and analytically. Taking a big picture whole person approach, their goal is to find the root of their health condition, rather than simply addressing acute, surface symptoms.
To assist in their investigations, a health detective can avail themselves of several resources. They can research their symptoms through evidenced based sources, maintain a journal to record their day-to-day health, and compare different forms of treatment to discover what works best for them. These individuals take an active role in their healthcare, working with their providers and conducting their own research to address the underlying causes of their condition.
Benefits of Becoming Your Own Health Detective
By uncovering the root cause of our health issues, we can receive personalized treatment that addresses the core problem, not just the symptoms.
Improved Health Outcomes
Treating causes rather than symptoms can lead to better health outcomes, as it address the problem at its source.
Taking an investigative approach to our health can be empowering, encouraging us to become an active participant in our health and well-being.
Identifying the root cause of our health issues can save money on unnecessary treatments and procedures.
Action Steps to Becoming Your Own Whole Health Coach
Keep a Health Journal
Recording symptoms and their related associations can help identify patterns and triggers.
Do Your Research
Research symptoms online, in books, or through other evidence-based sources to learn more about potential causes and treatments. However, we should be cautious of misinformation and always consult with a healthcare provider before implementing any form of treatment.
Experiment with Lifestyle Changes
Experimenting with small changes to our diet, exercise routine, etc. can help identify improvements in our condition, as well as lead to sustainable changes in our health and well-being.
Advocate for Yourself
We can be our own health advocates by voicing our concerns to practitioners and providers, as well as seeking out second opinions when needed.
In closing, learning to be your own health detective can serve as a sound practice to taking control of your health. Through harnessing the intuitive understanding of our bodies, we can discover the underlying causes of our health conditions and find the provider/treatment which best addresses our whole health. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power!