Health: The fast 5
May 30, 2011
1 Don’t wait for your health care providers to ask about your CAM use. Be proactive – start the conversation.
2 Keep a current list of all of your therapies and treatments, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as any CAM products, such as dietary and herbal supplements. Also note any medical specialists or CAM practitioners you see. Take the list with you whenever you visit a health care provider. Be sure to tell your health care providers about all of your therapies and treatments. Also, include all therapies and treatments on any patient history forms you fill out.
3Gather information on the CAM therapy you’re interested in. You may want to take copies with you; that way, you and your health care provider can refer to them as you talk, and your health care provider can help you evaluate the information.
4 Make a list of the things you want to talk about. For example, if you’re considering taking an herbal supplement, you might include: Why I want to take the supplement. How I found out about it. Is it safe for me to take? Will it interact with any of my medications?
5 Take a notepad or tape recorder with you. Listen carefully, and keep a record of what you find out. You may want to ask a family member or friend to accompany you, so you can compare notes after your visit.
Source: The National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; http://nccam.nih.gov.