Diet and exercise programs frequently give a disclaimer to check with your doctor before starting. Although this helps eliminate the program's liability, checking with your doctor can reduce the risk of adverse events.
Some Dietary Changes Are Problematic
Although the average person can likely consume most diets without adverse events, there may be underlying conditions that can make your doctor worried if you adopt a different diet plan. For example, you may want to try a high-protein diet, but your doctor will want to check for any signs of kidney troubles before you start.
People with chronic kidney disease must consume just enough protein to stay healthy. Excess protein will be a burden on kidneys that are not functioning properly. In the early stages of kidney disease, you may not have symptoms and only know after blood work is done. Similarly, your doctor might prefer changes to your carbohydrate intake if your blood glucose shows you are pre-diabetic.
Not Everyone Can Jump Into Exercise
If you are overweight, the recommendation is always to exercise. Most people, even if they are heavier, can begin a program and are only limited by their fitness level. Unfortunately, some people have underlying issues that place them at risk of a sudden cardiovascular event because of the new stress on their body from vigorous exercise. Although there is no way to guarantee a sudden change in physical activity will not cause any problems, at a minimum, your doctor might identify an elevated heart rate or heart arrhythmia that is cause for concern.
If this occurs, your doctor will want further testing before you are cleared to start an exercise program. It is always important to start any exercise program slowly and be concerned if you notice any unusual pains, especially in your stomach, chest, back, jaw, or arm. Shortness of breath even after resting or dizziness can also be signs of a problem.
You May Need Modifications
People who have a history of certain illnesses or injuries need their doctor's recommendation before trying a new diet or exercise program. Your doctor can advise you on any modifications they feel are necessary to avoid exacerbation of your condition or another injury. For example, if you take certain medications, your doctor might advise you to increase your water consumption and be more cognizant about sun exposure and dehydration.
Some medications drastically reduce your heat tolerance and can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke faster than normal. Other concerns your doctor might have is lifting heavy weights if you have a previous injury or a predisposition to hernias, inflammatory arthritis, or any prolapsed organs.
Although talking with your doctor before starting a diet or exercise program can seem unnecessary, there are real concerns that should be addressed. Talking with your family medical care doctor can help you avoid unnecessary problems that derail your health goals.
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