Keeping a Medical History
You might do it for you car. Maybe you do it for your workouts. Keeping a log is a great way to monitor things and keep track of important facts. Keeping a medical history is one of the most important ways you and your doctor can work together to maintain good health. It also makes it easier for your doctor to help you. It also makes it easier to track expenses if you are using a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account. Plus, if you ever need to apply for individual insurance, having your full health history in front of you will make completing the application a breeze.
What is a Medical History?
A medical history can be anything relevant to your health. It can be as basic as a list of medications, illnesses and doctor's visits. It can also include more detailed information and vital statistics.
Why Keep a Medical History?
A medical history is useful for many reasons. It's a great way to take charge of your well-being.
- It can help your doctor give you better care by providing him or her with more information to diagnose a condition.
- It can help you avoid prescriptions that may be harmful due to allergies.
- It can help when it comes to filing an insurance claim, appealing a decision with your insurance company or disputing billing errors.
What to Keep Track of in Your Medical History
At a minimum, you should consider tracking:
- Illnesses and injuries, including dates, doctor's visits and symptoms
- Any treatments and therapies you had, and whether or not they helped
- Any prescriptions, including side effects
- Health screenings and the results
- Your current weight
- Any allergies, including drug allergies
If you want to be more thorough, include:
- Vital statistics, like blood pressure and cholesterol level
- Changes in habits, such as quitting smoking
- Any weight loss or gain
- Changes in diet or appetite
- Any other changes that you notice in bodily function (digestion, vision, hearing, etc)
- Changes in mood or energy level
- Anything else that might be relevant to your health
It's never too late to begin a medical history. You might find it to be one of your most valuable tools in keeping you healthy and happy.