Not sure if you and your doc are a good fit? Worried about your family’s health history? Wondering if your symptoms are symptoms? Invitae’s Own Your Health panel answered all the questions the modern woman has regarding her health — and more.
When you’re juggling a thousand responsibilities (say, running a business, creating content and raising children), just getting yourself to the doctor’s office can be a feat in and of itself. But once you’re in, what do you say? How can you ensure you’re getting the help you need?
Ask your family: Checking in with your family can be a great first step toward understanding how to advocate for yourself. Jenna Finley (Invitae genetic counselor) advised the crowd to “know your family history and set aside time to ask your family about what’s going on.” It’s vital that you understand what to look out for, and having a candid conversation with the people who share your gene pool is a great place to start.
Get a genetic screening: For those who – for whatever reason – may not be able to discuss their family history of different health conditions, genetic screening can be even more valuable. But, be careful! Not all genetic testing services are created equal. At #BlogHer20 Health, Jenna broke down the importance of choosing a medical company to perform your genetic screening. “This is a test you want to use to make medical decisions on – you need to do your research to make sure the company you’re ordering from is a medical company and not just a recreational type of deal.”
Interview your doctor: Finding a doctor who’s right for you is a little bit like dating – the first one you meet won’t necessarily be Dr. Right! Make sure that you and your doctor have similar values in regards to wellness and treatments.
Panelist Rachel Rhee, Founder of The Dimple Life and a cancer survivor, emphasized the importance of feeling heard by your doctor. “If you feel your doctor’s answer isn’t right, then advocate for yourself. Ask questions, do research, see another doctor – you just have to be your best self advocate.”
Lastly, do your homework. Dr. Taz Bhatia, a registered integrative health expert and author of Superwoman, Rx., insisted that the best way to ensure you’re getting the healthcare you deserve is by researching, honing your questions, and coming prepared to your doctor visit.
“Be organized when you go to an appointment – you should prepare for your doctor visit like you would for a business meeting or a presentation. You want to tell your doctor these are my top three symptoms, this is my experience, this is when it started, and ask about specific solutions and treatments to all of those things.”
PARTING WORDS OF WISDOM
Jenna Finley: On the Benefits of Genetic Testing
“There are clinical guidelines if you have a genetic mutation that your doctor can tailor your healthcare plan to. We’ve found that 1 in 6 people have a mutation in a clinically actionable gene. There’s quite a bit of medical care that can be related to your genetics.”
Rachel Rhee: On How to Approach Wellness
“Approach your health holistically – health is so much more encompassing than making a workout class or eating a salad – it’s about self-care, it’s about your relationships those things affect you physically as well. Keep in mind all the pilars of wellness.”
Dr. Taz: On Finding What’s Best For Your Body
“Remember that we are all unique. We all have a genetic fingerprint – it’s all about finding what works for you.” “Approach your health holistically – health is so much more encompassing than making a workout class or eating a salad – it’s about self-care, it’s about your relationships those things affect you physically as well. Keep in mind all the pillars of wellness.”
We’re so grateful to these ladies for joining us and helping to empower our attendees as they navigate their own health journeys. We hope you walked away feeling ready to learn about your own genetic history, “date” some doctors, and find the wellness plan that’s right for you!