If you are a typical patient, you actually do about half of what your doctor tells you. Think about your last visit. After you started to feel better did you discontinue the medication they prescribed you early? Do you have some pills left over? Did you really adhere to the diet recommendations? Did you increase or limit your activity as the doctor instructed? Did you take the medication prescribed erratically or exactly as you were instructed to? When a new illness occurred in your family did you use any of the leftover medication? Most patients don’t fully understand their doctor’s advice in the first place, so not following that advice precisely is not really all that surprising. There are consequences to not following your doctor’s advice.
The first consequence is the complete waste of your time and money. Doctors don’t come cheap. If you are proactively seeking advice why would you not try to understand it and ultimately follow it? That is kind of silly. After you have traveled to the doctor’s office, waited to see the doctor, spent time with the doctor, gone to the pharmacy to buy the medication and then return home, you have invested a good amount of time and effort. Don’t waste all of that by not asking questions to fully understand the advice and failing to follow through.
There can be serious medical consequence if you do not follow instructions properly. The disease may persist, come back, complications occur or you may suffer negative side effects. The most common problem is that your health issue does not go away. Many times patients stop following the instructions to early. The symptoms of a health issue may go away long before you are actually healthy again. By ending the prescribed path by your doctor early you can very realistically cause the issue to grow larger.
Believe it or not many people take way too much of the medication they were prescribed. Some people fully believe that if a little bit is good for them, a lot must be even better. Any drug is a foreign substance to your body. Because of this any medication can be considered a poison to some extent. When used in quantities well beyond what was prescribed you can encounter increased side effects, addiction and even death.
Whether you are dealing with pediatric issues or elder care health issues, direct and honest communication between the doctor and patient can avoid many of these problems. By taking the time with your doctor to fully understand what and why they are recommending what they are, can have a very positive impact on the health of the patient.