For many of us, one of the worst experiences is having to wait for information. Known as news anxiety, the feeling of worry and stress can be overwhelming, especially if you’re waiting for important knowledge, like a diagnosis regarding your health.
Being healthy is important for most of us, as it dictates what we’re able to do and how we’re able to support ourselves financially. Also, being in pain and the stress that it causes can reduce your quality of life, so when we get ill and don’t know what’s wrong, this can be an incredibly scary experience.
Going to the doctor and getting a diagnosis is the first step in treating any illness, as it will shape the type of treatment that is most effective. Depending on what’s wrong, the seriousness of your symptoms, your existing conditions, the tests needed, and how busy your local NHS Trust is, it can take anywhere from days to several months to get a diagnosis and start on the right treatment plan.
Obviously, this isn’t ideal, as waiting for a diagnosis can be stressful and in some cases, lead to the problem spreading or becoming worse. To mitigate this, across the NHS, professionals are working hard to try and reduce the waiting times that patients face, with the latest drive being aimed at cancer patients.
While these will help, it can still take a lot of time to get the diagnosis you need, and throughout that time you’ll be unsure about what to do and how to treat the issue. You’ll be dealing with the pain and uncertainty, which can be incredibly draining, both mentally and physically.
Even if you’re awaiting a diagnosis for a minor ailment, such as an allergy or intermittent pain, you still need to get an answer quickly so that you can begin treatment. Whatever ails you, here are some simple tactics you can try out to help you get a faster diagnosis.
Talk To Your Doctor As Soon As The Symptoms Arise
As obvious as it sounds, the faster you get to your GP and explain the issue, the faster they can run any relevant tests and find out what’s going on. As such, you need to make sure that you don’t delay in reporting any health issues you notice, however minor they might seem. You’re the best judge of your body and general health, as you deal with them both every day, so if you’re unsure about anything at all, get straight in touch with your doctor. By being proactive and getting an expert opinion quickly, you can make sure that you know what’s going on faster.
Provide As Much Information As You Can
When you’re talking to your doctor, you need to make sure that you share as much relevant information as you can about the issue. Sometimes, it can be embarrassing to share certain problems that have arisen, or you might not think that they’re important, but if you notice it, you need to tell your doctor. They can assess whether or not the problems are connected and order the best tests to ensure that you get the right diagnosis.
Consider Private Tests
The NHS has long waiting lists due to shortages in staff and resources, so in some cases, paying for private healthcare solutions can help you to save time. When it comes to getting a diagnosis, choosing a private provider can speed up the process and mean that you get access to the right treatment faster, so it’s worth considering.
That’s especially true if your test is for something serious that could have a significant effect on your life. If you’re wondering about finding a private blood test in London, consider Bioma. They specialise in a range of diagnostic tests and can help you get accurate results promptly so that you can move on to your treatment plan promptly.
Ask For A Second Opinion
In some cases, you might feel that your doctor is not running the correct tests or considering certain symptoms that you believe are important. If that happens, then you might have to wait for a diagnosis that might not be correct. Trust your instincts, and if you’re unsure about the tests your doctor is ordering or you don’t feel like you’re being heard, then you have every right to seek a second opinion.
Consider asking for a different doctor in the same practice or speaking to someone in a different GP surgery so that you can get access to a doctor that you feel confident with and whose diagnostic skills you value. Once you’ve found a doctor that you trust, you will feel more confident when waiting for the diagnostic results and will have a better chance of obtaining the right treatment plan in the future.
Make Sure Your Contact Details Are Up To Date
At some point in all our lives, our contact details change, and when that happens, it’s easy to forget to update everyone. If you’ve been waiting for several weeks or longer for your test results, then you might forget all about them and not update your details fast enough. If the NHS then sends out the appointment details to the wrong address, this could hold the entire process up further and leave you back at the bottom of the waiting list.
To avoid this, you need to make sure that you always keep your contact details up to date with your GP and other NHS service providers. The easiest way to do that is to use the NHS app, so you can instantly update your contact information. You’ll then be able to rest assured that your doctor will always be able to reach you when they need to.
Update Your Doctor If Things Change
For diagnostic processes that take a long time, your health might change while you wait for the results of a specific test. If that’s the case, then you need to make sure that you keep your doctor informed about the state of your health. They can take the changes into account and consider conducting more thorough tests, or working to fast-track your results based on the new symptoms that you are experiencing.
If your health deteriorates significantly, then you should make sure your doctor knows and consider getting emergency care if required. Even minor changes in your health should be noted and sent to your doctor, so that they know what’s going on and can make the right decision for your unique situation.
Speeding Up The Diagnostic Process: A Quick Summary
At the end of the day, unfortunately, it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll get a faster diagnosis. There are many factors in play when doctors make a diagnosis, and you never know exactly how long it will take. However, you could try these tips to help you speed up the process and see if any of them have an effect.
If nothing else, they won’t slow down the process of diagnosing your ailment, and they might make you feel a bit more proactive and give you something to think about while you wait. When it comes to getting your diagnosis, remember that your doctor is a professional and will work hard to get you the treatment you need as fast as possible.