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10 Questions That Every Senior Should Ask Their Doctor

10 Questions That Every Senior  Should Ask Their DoctorWe’ve all been there, its time for our annual exam and afterward, we realize that we completely forgot to ask all of the questions we’d thought of over the past few months. Perhaps, you’re not even sure if your questions were valid in the first place. Fear not, Munroe Regional Medical Center has got you covered. Here are the top 10 questions to ask your practitioner on your next visit.

You should start with the basics but never accept basic answers. Find out what’s changing, how much it’s changed, and what those changes mean.

Question #1
How has my Height changed and what does that mean?

Estimates in height vary, but on average people lose ¼ to ½ inch every decade after age 40 or 50, with losses increasing in later years, and women generally losing more than men.

Common Causes & Symptoms of Height Changes:
• Compressed/Dehydrated Disks in Spine
• Bone and Joint Pain Could be a Result of Skeletal Issues
• Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
• Loss of Muscle in the Torso

Combating Height Changes:
• Weight-Bearing Exercise
• Consuming Adequate Calcium
• Vitamin D, and Other Bone-Healthy Nutrients
• Not Drinking Alcohol to Excess
• Not Smoking

Question #2
How has my Weight changed and what does that mean?
Weight Loss Causes:
• Viral infection (such as CMV or HIV)
• Gastroenteritis
• Parasite Infection
• Depression
• Bowel Diseases
• Overactive Thyroid
• Cancer
• Atrophy or Muscle Loss
• Changes in Diet
• Changes in Exercise

Weight Gain Causes:
• Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)
• Diabetes Management
• Stress or Depression
• Hormonal Changes
• Fluid Retention
• Cushing’s Syndrome
• Changes in Diet
• Changes in Exercise

Work with your physician to evaluate and develop a diet and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle and level of activity.

Question #3
How has my Blood Pressure changed and what does that mean?

Typically the systolic blood pressure (top number) rises with age, while the diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) tends to fall.

A variety of factors can cause changes:
• Age-Related Hormone Changes
• High Salt Intake
• Changes in Walls of Arteries and Blood Vessels

High Systolic Pressure or hypertension may continue to rise with age even if controlled with medication, but you can lower it through exercise, weight loss, healthy eating, and abstinence from tobacco can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Low Systolic Pressure:
• Lightheaded or Faint
• Dehydration
• Blood Loss
• Certain Medications
• Could increase the risk of falls if not controlled

Question #4
Can you give me more information about my medications?

Do they affect my height, weight or blood pressure?
Do they affect anything else: Vision, Cognitive Ability, Balance, Mood, etc.?
Are there any conflicts between any of the medications I’m taking?
Are there any conflicts between my prescription medications and over the counter drugs?

Bring a complete list of all over-the-counter and prescription medications that you are currently on, or have recently taken. Your physician may not know of prescriptions you have from a specialist, such as a Cardiologist, or from another Primary Care Provider.

Question #5
What screenings or immunizations are due?

Screenings Examples:
• Colonoscopy
• Mammogram
• Skin Cancer
• Prostate Exam

Immunization Examples:
• Shingles
• Pneumococcal

Lab Work Examples:
• Glucose
• Cholesterol
• Complete Blood Count

Based on your medical history and current health, your doctor may ask you to consider additional tests or screenings.

Question #6
Should I see a specialist on a regular basis or for a specific concern?

(Example)
Regular Basis Cardiologist for Blood Pressure
Specific Concern Orthopedic Physician for Osteopenia, Neurologist for Cognitive Changes.

Question #7
Why do I have this?

Keep a Journal and Discuss any Changes You Have Noticed. For Example:
• Changes in Appetite
• Cognitive Changes
• Fatigue
• Breathing Issues
• Excessive or Easy Bruising
• Rapid Weight Changes Without Diet Changes
• Changes to Vision, Hearing or Balance
• Anything that just seems different than it has been

Question #8
Why do I have this pain?

Discuss any Changes in Pain
• New Pain – Sudden or Slow Onset
• Chronic Pain and if it is Worsening
• Discuss Pain You Control With Medications
• Include Type, Dose, and Frequency of Medication
• Try to quantify the changes
• How much has the pain changed and how
bearable is it

Question #9
Ask Questions About Fads and Trends You are Considering Trying:
• New or Trendy Diets
• New Exercise Programs or Equipment
• Miracle Supplements
• Super Vitamins

Remember: If it’s too good to be true it probably is!

Question #10
What are the top 2 or 3 things I should focus on to remain active and healthy?

These should not be general answers and should be relevant to your medical history and current level of health and activity:
• Diet Restrictions and Additions
• Vitamins or Supplements
• Exercise Regimens
• Etc.

Same-day primary care appointments
Online scheduling at MunroeMedicalGroup.com
Easy appointment scheduling at 1-844-285-1923

At Munroe Regional, they provide you with the best medical care available and identify the most appropriate setting and level of care for you. They are committed to restoring your health as quickly and comfortably as possible and have been consistently recognized for this dedication.

If you or a loved one has any health concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, please consult Munroe Regional Medical Center at 1-844-285-1923, or visit Munroeregional.com.

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