Saturday, August 14, 2010
Ask some basic questions
Initially, ask some basic questions:
How likely am I to get this disease in the first place? Were the symptoms of the participants in the study at all similar to mine? Because perspective on depth is so often missing from news reports, some people focus on the latest details at the expense of the big picture. You should ideally follow the dictum: Be quick to question, but slow to change. Moreover, if the ‘new’ information is in conflict with ‘conventional wisdom’, you should regard it warily. Trying to heed all the advice all the time can prove overwhelming and disconcerting. You should evaluate your individual risk profile, based on your lifestyle and family history, and then make appropriate changes that will give you the highest returns for your effort. If a news report raises nagging doubts in your mind about your treatment, diet or lifestyle, make it a point to ask your doctor whether or not the report applies to you. However, most of the time you simply need to rely on your common sense. After all, it's rather silly to worry about having missed one's daily quota of beta- carotene supplement while smoking the twentieth cigarette of the day!