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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

larryB&W@300This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

Rather than answer a question this week, I will address a widespread problem in medical self-care.

In the Medical Self-Efficacy chapter of my book In Your Own Hands: New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions, I provide a detailed explication of how to cultivate medical self-efficacy. One of the large range of issues explored in that chapter relates to how to get good medical care. In that chapter and in all my presentations, I encourage patients to go to a large tertiary care center whenever the doctors they have seen have not been able to help them. There are plenty of good doctors who are not connected with these giant medical centers, but for any condition for which you have not been helped by your local doctors, the advantage of going to one of the country’s large tertiary care centers is that they have most likely successfully treated unusual conditions that your local doctors haven’t seen since their residency training.

Even in highly educated patients, it is way too common for them to go to alternative healthcare clinicians after local doctors have failed to successfully treat them. They waste a fortune paying out of pocket for alternative treatments that lack medical efficacy while they could be receiving state-of-the-art evidence-based treatments at one of the large academic or other large tertiary care centers.

Many of these same patients fail to even get immunized against preventable diseases. The reason for this is the same as the reason they throw their money away on alternative treatments. It is because they are not able to discern the information they read in magazines sold in the health food stores or spread all over the internet from evidence-based sources such as peer-review journals.

You don’t need to read those refereed journals. Trusted sources of medical information can be easily found from sites such as NIH, CDC, and any website ending in .gov or .edu or from newsletters published by one of the large academic medical centers. 

Knowledge is power but make sure your knowledge is evidence-based.

 This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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