An interesting conversation with the doc
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
For the last week and a half, I have been getting severe headaches. I wake up with them and they don't go away all day no matter if I take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). They weren't related to dehydration (thanks to SP, I'm keeping track of how much water I drink) or caffeine-withdrawal (yeah, I know I should stop drinking coffee but I'm addicted). They were bad enough that I scheduled an appointment with an internist to figure out what the hell was wrong with me.
This was my first time I saw this doctor as I have recently switched PCPs and I have to say I really liked her. She took my medical history and we had a long conversation - a real, useful doctor-patient conversation. Of course by the time I see her today, I am asymptomatic. No headaches today so far and they've been tapering off since Friday. Based on everything so far, she thinks I might have had a viral infection. But I got bloodwork done too so I'll know if anything is being missed. I'm soooo looking forward to seeing my cholesterol results (I have a family history of high cholesterol so it's not going to be pretty). I had to fast before my bloodwork and I thought I was going to pass out by the time I left the office since I was sooo hungry.
Obviously diet and exercise questions are part of what the doctor had to ask me during my physical. And she was impressed when I told her that I do exercise 5X a week for 30 min each session. I told her about how much I'm eating, what I'm eating, and how much weight I've lost. She says everything I'm doing is right. I'm losing the right amount of weight at the right pace. I'm eating multiple small meals throughout the day. My exercise includes strength training. However, I might be eating too much right now and that I should really only need about 1200 calories per day. I'm probably losing weight still because I have net loss with exercise but she told me expect plateauing if I continue consuming what I am currently eating now. She also told me to incorporate more protein into my diet to prevent those feelings of hunger when I reduce my caloric intake.
I told her I was worried about not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals and she told me not to worry. Unless my bloodwork comes back really abnormal, I shouldn't worry about not eating enough potassium. "Your kidneys will adjust." I asked about taking a multi-vitamin supplement. She confirmed my suspicions: they really don't help as anything that isn't immediately absorbed is excreted. If I do have a deficiency, I should supplement, but only with that particular mineral. I don't need a multi-vitamin. The best way to get what I need is from food. True dat, doc, true dat.
Yeah, it sucks that by the time I see the doc, my symptoms have gone away but it's nice to hear from her that I'm doing right by my health. I'm already doing what she would have told me, which is "lose weight and exercise".