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Five Health Mistakes Women Make

Five Health Mistakes Women Make

Health problems can be a scary thing to deal with whether you’re a woman or a man. But health experts have recently found many women are addressing their concerns—including misdiagnosis and treatment—differently then men.

They aren’t at all.

Christiane Northrup,M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing, and other women’s health specialists, says there are five major mistakes women make at the doctor's office that impede their efforts to live healthier. They are:

*Women don't question doctors. Northrop says a doctor's presence make a woman feel like a child, leading her to be afraid to question authority. If you think you will be too afraid to ask questions, take someone with you who will.

*Women tend to over-research. While being knowledgeable is not a bad thing, doctors say women are more likely to be upset by what they read on the internet. If you want to do your research but not get overwhelmed, doctors recommend you write down key points you would like to discuss with an expert, and then walk away.

*Women don't recognize gender bias. Numerous studies have shown women's medical problems are more likely to be addressed as emotional issues or complaining. Experts say women should recognize when there is a bias, and put an end to it right away. No one should make you feel like your concerns are illegitimate.

*Women interpret their own symptoms. Let the doctor do his or her job, and don’t try to make a diagnosis. For example, don’t describe chest pain as, “probable indigestion.” The truth is, you could be having a heart attack, and a doctor may not know to investigate further if you are down-playing your symptoms.

*The biggest mistakes: Women don't trust their intuition. Sometimes you need to rely on your gut. If you sense a doctor is wrong, speak up. And if your problem is not addressed, get a second opinion.

The bottom line: A doctor often knows best, but don’t forget to also rely on your instincts. [CNN]

Posted: 5/15/08