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9 Things to Ask Your Doctor ...

Going to the doctor can be a little scary, even when it's just a checkup. It can also be scary to ask your doctor all the things he or she may need to know to learn about your health. For that matter, it can be hard to know exactly what you need to ask your doctor. To that end, you can begin with these 9 things to ask your doctor the next time you go in for a checkup.

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1. Vitamins

You need to ask your doctor about vitamins. Specifically, you should ask about whether or not you need to be taking any of them regularly, what kind, what they do, and so on. It's harder for adults to get all the nutrients they need, and vitamins can help with that, but it's important to know exactly what kinds you should be taking.

2. STDs

You need to feel comfortable enough to talk to your doctor about STDs, especially the ones that may not present themselves. HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is specifically important to ask about, because not only can it open you up to the risk of other STDs, it also increases your chances of getting cervical cancer. Because there is now a vaccine available, you should ask your doctor if you need it.

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3. Screenings

Based on your medical history and that of your family, there may be certain screenings you should get regularly. If cancer is prevalent in your family, or if there are many cases of heart disease, diabetes, and things of that nature, you can be at risk too. In addition to taking preventative measures, you need to be aware of what's going on with and in your body.

4. Contraception

Although you should ideally visit your gynecologist for questions of this nature, you can also talk to your general practitioner about what kinds of contraceptives are available to you. There is no reason not to be safe. Even if your not sexually active, certain kinds of birth control pills may be an option because of what they do.

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5. Weight Issues

Whatever your height and body build, there is an ideal weight for you. You need to talk to your doctor about what would be the healthiest weight for your height and body type. This comes down to discovering your BMI. If you are underweight or overweight, your doctor will be able to present you with healthy options.

6. Immunizations

Even adults need to get immunizations sometimes. Your doctor can keep them informed of what they are. Otherwise, you may not know whether you need things like booster doses or secondary doses, and you could end up getting sick.

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7. Side Effects

If you are currently on any medications, or if your doctor prescribes a new one, you need to know as much as possible about them. Specifically, you should talk to your doctor about possible side effects. This is especially important since so many medications seem to do more in the way of side effects than actual, healthful benefits.

8. Self-Medicating

So some extent, almost everybody self medicates. You get Ibuprofen or Excedrin from the store for soreness and headaches, or you buy Sudafed or Benedryl for allergies. Still, you should talk to your doctor about what over the counter medications you need to avoid. Some of them might be bad for you, or they might interfere with prescription medications.

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9. Allergies

Allergies can evolve and change over time. You may currently be allergic to something you didn't even know about, or you may no longer be allergic to something that bothered you when you were younger. Your doctor can help you learn about your existing allergies.

There are many problems you can and should ask your doctor about, but this list is a good place to start. Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, don't even be embarrassed about these important things to ask your doctor, because he or she is there to help. Do you have any tips to make this easier?

Top Photo Credit: profholtz

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