Get to grips with what’s happening with you

Whether it’s a new issue or an existing condition you’re managing, what are you experiencing? 

What makes it better?  What makes it worse? 

This is about listening to your body, listening to your feelings and your instinct. Bear in mind that psychological/emotional issues, such as stress, can cause or exacerbate physical symptoms and vice verse.

If there’s something you’re currently concerned about, try to identify exactly what your concern is and what your immediate needs are, if any, regarding that concern. For example:

‘I have a pain in my knee - I know what’s causing it but need the pain controlled’ 

is different from

‘I have a pain in my knee - I need to know whether it’s something I should be taking seriously and doing something about’ 

and is different again from

‘I have a pain in my knee - I have medications to control it but don’t like taking them and would like to know if there’s any alternative’.

More: Know your own health

  • See if you can find out more  image See if you can find out more

    Apart from seeking medical advice (see lower down this page), you can find out more by looking up relevant information yourself, either online or through other sources of information; or there may be people with some sort of specialist knowledge you can access, such as a pharmacist for medication issues, or even some amongst your friends or family who may have knowledge or experience they can share.

  • What are your options for treating or managing the issue? image What are your options for treating or managing the issue?

    Some of the options may be medical and some may be more straightforward things you can do yourself.  Even chronic pain can often be improved a great deal through making relatively minor changes in daily life. Sometimes quite simple remedies or actions can help, without having to resort to medications.  Where these work, they side-step the issue of possible side effects from medication.

    Once you consult a doctor, you are probably looking for medical solutions.  Sometimes these can fix a problem - or help to fix it - but they can’t always. Even if they help, they can be even more effective when teamed with self-management strategies.  

    ACCESSING INFORMATION NHS CHOICES has a wealth of information on hundreds of health conditions and links to further specialised websites so is a good place to start.
    ACCESSING INFORMATION GET HEALTH INFORMATION on this website has a variety on hand-chosen links to national and local services for specific health issues
    ACCESSING INFORMATION SEARCH ENGINES such as Google or Bing to ask any question or search a condition to find other relevant information online
    ACCESSING INFORMATION ONLINE COMMUNITIES can be a good source of information and ideas for what has worked (and not worked) for others as well as a source of support
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