The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – My Best Juicing Tips

Image source: stock.xchng

Image source: stock.xchng

The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – My Best Juicing Tips

To conclude my series of articles about juicing for breast cancer, this one is all about the best tips I’ve gathered over the past 15 or so years while juicing – a real grab-bag of “good to know” tips on juicing.

1. The produce you really should buy organically grown – because of the fact that they are highly sprayed and you don’t want toxic residue in your healthy drink –  are: apples, celery, bell peppers, strawberries, grapes, spinach, kale and other leafy greens, cucumbers, and blueberries. Everything else? Well, you’re always better off buying organic but if you need to keep your food budget down or it just isn’t available where you live, the other things are okay to buy non-organically grown. If you have to. See the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Regardless of whether you are using organic produce, always wash everything thoroughly. Even organic produce can have bacteria, road dust, etc on it.
2. Beet juice will turn your urine a beautiful shade of pink (it can happen with your poo too). Just be aware.  It’s not internal bleeding! Beet is a fantastic thing to juice though – see my page Diet And Cancer for the reasons why. The tops of the beets are also excellent to juice or in salads, they are high in potassium, iron, vitamins A and C.
3. Vegetable juices are generally healthier than fruit juices and won’t spike your blood sugar levels. If you’re sweet on fruits and really want to include them, use a blender. For more info on this, see my article The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – Which Juicer Or Blender To Use?. Juice mostly vegetables and then add a little fruit to improve the taste.
4. Fresh juices don’t last a long time.  It’s best to consume fresh juices within a half hour or so of making them. Some juicers create juices that can be stored up to 2 days, know whether yours will do that, Store them in the fridge in a glass container, filling it as full as you can (thus allowing very little air inside) and make sure the lid is very tight. This will keep your juice from oxidizing so quickly. Remember, it has no preservatives!
5. Save preparation time in the morning.  Just scrub and chop all your produce prior to putting it in the fridge, and then store it in really great containers (I like these).  This really cuts down the preparation time and the containers also help to keep things fresh a bit longer.
6.  Add a wedge of lemon or lime at the end of your juicing – after you’ve juiced everything else. It helps to clean your juicer of other things you’ve been processing and it adds a fresh, clean zing to the taste of your juice. Not to mention loads of vitamin C.
7. Keep the motor running… head out on the highway…. Seriously.  When juicing, keep the motor running for a further 10-15 seconds. You might be surprised at how much juice keeps coming out.
8. There are lots of things you can do with pulp.  If you are juicing, you may be dismayed to see how much pulp gets left. Don’t worry!  With some juicers you can pass the pulp through the machine one more time to get even more juice out of it.  You can also use the pulp to create your own super healthy organic vegetable stock (contact me if you need a recipe). Just strain the pulp out of the stock when you have finished cooking it.  You can also use the pulp in quiches, soups, stews, casseroles. Or – rather than throwing away the pulp – put it in your compost heap or bury it somewhere in your garden. Your plants will love it.
9. Wash your juicer immediately after juicing. This keeps it from getting stained by the vegetables you juiced, and the dried on bits of vegetable residue can gum it up and be hard to remove if you leave it for too long.
10. Ginger is divine to juice and its anti-inflammatory properties make it well worth adding to your daily juice regime. Begin by using just a little bit, however, because it is hot and spicy and less is more. As you get used to the heat and the flavor, then you can begin adding a little more.
11. Consume fresh juices on an empty stomach. This allows all of the plant nutrients and live enzymes to be absorbed by your body as quickly as possible. Don’t drink juice when you’ve already eaten something else, it may cause some digestive disturbances for you. A good idea is to wait at least 2 hours after a meal to drink fresh juices and wait 20 minutes after drinking your fresh juice to eat solid food.
12. Chew your juice! I know that sounds crazy, but the process of digestion begins in the mouth. Swish the juice around in your mouth, move your jaw up and down for a couple of seconds prior to swallowing – this releases saliva which contains within it the digestive enzymes which will help you get the nutrients into your cells.
13. Rotate your greens. By greens I mean spinach, arugula, kale, chard, etc.  Juice a different one every few days – this helps to prevent imbalances of vitamins and minerals within the body.
14. Be patient. If juicing is something that seems more like a chore than a pleasure, just know you are not alone. The health benefits are huge though, and I would encourage you to be patient and keep at it. Read my article The 12 Best Benefits of Juicing for Breast Cancer if you get too discouraged – that will help you to remember why you’re juicing in the first place!

If you would like to receive my best tips on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences, just  sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook ( I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.  


The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – Which Juicer Or Blender To Use?

The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – Which Juicer or Blender To Use?

I am a huge proponent of juicing for breast cancer — it’s great for any sort of cancer, really — and one of the questions I get asked most frequently is which juicer or blender to use.

It’s a great question, mainly because of the baffling array of juicers on the market, the manufacturers of which all claim that theirs is the best and provides you with the most nutrients and enzymes.  The purpose of this article is not to compare juicers because there are plenty of websites that do that.  I would just like you to understand the difference between juicing and blending and then you can decide for yourself which is best for you.

As mentioned in a previous article, The 12 Best Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer, juicing is an excellent way to extract massive amounts of vitamins, minerals, plant nutrients and enzymes from fruits and vegetables for your body’s immediate use.  Whether to use a juicer or a blender to extract those nutrients, however, has become a hotly debated subject.

What began as a simple message about the benefits of juicing for health has recently evolved into a rather strict bunch of “juicing rules” that people are obsessing about.  What I’ve observed is that some people have stopped juicing altogether – or never start – because they’ve been told that unless they can afford a particular juicer that’s out of their price range, they are wasting their time!  Now that’s just a crying shame.

There are plenty of juicers on the market that are affordable and do a great job.  You can, of course, obsess about which one does a better job and indeed, I found an interesting 2007 study by Michael Donaldson, PhD of Hallelujah Acres Foundation (this was on Chris Wark’s website – thank you very much, Chris) comparing seven popular juicers, including the $2,400 Norwalk juicer.  Click that link to read the study, it’s pretty interesting.  While the Norwalk excelled in several aspects such as enzyme content when the juice had to be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, it really wasn’t that big of a difference.

Please keep reading, then make your decision.  I think that we should be doing both – juicing and blending – and here’s why.

To Juice Or To Blend – That Is The Question

While both juicing and blending are healthy for you, the results are quite different.  Both juicing and blending will give you a great big shot of dense nutrients that your body can readily use, but there are some important differences.  They both make a valuable contribution to your health, be it in different ways., done with a slow speed masticating juicer, is designed to extract as much densely packed nutrition from your organic produce as possible by removing all the fiber (pulp).  This allows your body to easily assimilate all the nutrients without requiring too much energy from your digestive system.  That’s why it’s so great for cancer patients or people who have troubled digestive systems.  When you ingest a big load of vegetables and/or fruit in a meal or a smoothie, it can take hours to digest and absorb all of that fiber. With fresh raw juices that have no fiber, however, your body gets those nutrients in minutes.  That makes juicing ideal for cleansing and detoxification and gives the digestive system a rest.  It’s also ideal for people with cancer who are suffering from cachexia, or muscle wasting. The downside of juicers is that they generally take a little more time to clean up and some people don’t like that.  I don’t find it a problem, it really only takes a few more minutes.  My favorite juicer is the Omega J8005, it’s easy to clean, produces a wonderful smooth juice and isn’t terribly expensive.

Image Source: / zirconicusso

Blending, done with something like a Nutribullet or Vitamix or just an ordinary blender, works by splitting open the cellular wall of fruits and vegetables, releasing all of the nutrients – but it is much more like eating a meal since the fiber is retained (and that’s good for cleansing the colon and slowing the release of fructose, fruit sugar, when you are blending fruit).  You get better assimilation than if you ate the fruit or vegetables whole, but you don’t get quite the concentrated nutritional density of juice derived from a masticating juicer.  You wouldn’t be able to get as much produce into a blender container as you are able to process with a juicer.  Blenders are great for making smoothies, which tend to be more filling than juices and more satisfying if you are very hungry.  Another benefit to blending is that you can also add super foods and supplements to smoothies to increase the antioxidant hit or cancer-killing nutrients.  I frequently add a spoonful of maqui berry powder to get a big antioxidant hit, or you could add hemp or spirulina or chia seeds or flaxseed (get the idea?).  Doing this adds a lot of nutrition to your smoothies which you might not ordinarily do with a glass of fresh juice.

So the bottom line?  Which is better, juicing or blending?  As you can see each has its benefits and merits. The best one to use IS THE ONE THAT YOU LOVE USING!  If you buy a big expensive juicer and then it sits in your pantry because you hate cleaning it, it’s not doing you any good at all.  So get the one you think you’ll love to use and enjoy it.  Make juicing and/or blending a daily part of your wellness protocol.  For the list of the very best things to juice, see my article The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – What To Juice.

If you would like my best tips on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond. 

The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – What To Juice

Image Source: / Ayla87

Image Source: / Ayla87

The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – What To Juice

In my last article, The 12 Best Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer, I gave you twelve very good reasons why juicing is incredibly beneficial for breast cancer and today, in part 2 of this 4-part series, I am covering what exactly to juice.  I know many people delay juicing because they don’t know what to juice.  Don’t worry about having specific recipes (although resources for those is found at the bottom of this article) — just get started — squish these things into your juice (the next article covers the best juicers to use) and adjust for your own personal tastebuds.  It’s all about experimentation and finding out what you like.

Note:  Always use organic produce wherever you can but if it’s just not available, get yourself a good quality fruit and vegetable wash and wash everything thoroughly before juicing.  You can also add a splash of white vinegar to a basin of fresh cold water and soak your produce to help remove any traces of pesticide, herbicide, wax, etc.


Kale is one of the most alkaline vegetables and packs a terrific wallop of omega-3 fatty acids, chlorophyll, betacarotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium.  It is highly anti-inflammatory (and cancer is a very inflammatory condition), it helps to activate your immune system, it reduces the absorption of carcinogens (cancer causing things).  Tip: Wash kale thoroughly.  According to, “To get the most out of your kale, run it through the juicer before the fruits and veggies with higher water content like cucumber and apple.”


Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene, antioxidants that protect against cell damage.  Carrots also contain retinol which inhibits tumor promotion.  There are plenty of cancer survivor testimonies out there on the internet from people who heavily juiced carrots and eradicated their cancer.  Tip: Peel both organic and non-organic carrots prior to juicing because they do grow in the ground and the skins of root vegetables can contain trace amounts of arsenic.


90% water, they are a wonderful base for any juicing recipe and are full of electrolytes, vitamins B, C and K, and potassium.  They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Additionally, new lab research (done only on animals so far) indicates that cucumbers contain plant lignans which are converted in the gut into enterolignans which have the ability to bind onto estrogen receptors on our cells.  They can have both pro-estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects, depending on what is needed by the body.  A reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers, including cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate have been associated with intake of dietary lignans from plant foods like cucumber (also flaxseed).  Fresh cucumbers also contain a group of compounds called cucurbitacins and researchers have determined that  several different cell signaling pathways required for cancer cell development and cancer cell survival can be blocked by activity of cucurbitacins.  Tip: If your cucumbers are organic, leave the skin on but if they are not organic, peel them due to the synthetic waxes that get applied to them, you don’t want that in your juice


Beets contain iron, potassium, niacin, copper, vitamin C, folic acid, zinc, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.  They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are required for good eye health.  Beets must be fresh, not canned. Beets are one of the best anti-cancer veggies around, abounding in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.  They stimulate lymphatic function, enhance liver function, make a great blood cleanser, and good for cellular detoxification.  Tip: Peel both organic and non-organic beets before juicing.

Wheat Grass

Fresh wheat or barley grass juice is very alkaline, it is a very potent blood purifier and liver cleanser as it contains oodles of chlorophyll, which is similar in molecular structure to hemoglobin in our blood and helps transport oxygen to our cells.  Since cancer loves conditions where oxygen is absent, you can immediately see the benefit that wheat grass offers.  Chlorophyll has also been proven to be a more effective antimutagenic than any antioxidants.  Wheat grass also contains selenium and laetrile, and that makes it a superb overall cancer fighter.   Tip:  People with wheat allergies have nothing to worry about with wheat grass – although it is grown from grain, it morphs completely into a vegetable with none of the allergy proteins common to wheat.  Also, if you drink a lot of it, just beware because it can act as a natural laxative.  Which can be a good thing if you’re doing chemotherapy!


Apples contain flavonoids, which are phytochemicals that protect cells and DNA from damage.  They act as antioxidants and help to control inflammation.  They also contain quercitin which research indicates inhibits EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) and HER2 neu common in breast cancer.  Tip:  Most of the flavonoid content of an apple is in the skin, so don’t peel them and definitely buy organic apples whenever you can.  If organic apples are not available, wash them well in warm water and vinegar to remove the wax coatings and any chemical residue.  Just go easy when juicing apples as they do contain a lot of natural sugar.


Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain which is a natural digestive enzyme and is helpful for cancer because it boosts cytokines, particularly interferon and tumor necrosis factor, which are very important warriors in destroying cancer cells.  Bromelain also decreases inflammation, helps the immune system, and according to, bromelain is also involved with “Dissolving fibrin: Cancer cells hide under a cloak of fibrin to escape detection. Once the cancer cells are ‘uncloaked,’ they can be spotted and attacked by your immune system. It is also thought that fibrin makes cancer cells ‘stick together,’ which increases the chance for metastases.”  Tip: To tell whether a pineapple is ripe and ready for juicing, lift it, squeeze it, and smell it. The fruit should be heavy, which means it’s juicy; the skin should yield slightly to a gentle squeeze, and the aroma should be sweet.  Color also matters – if it’s too green, it will probably be slightly sour.  You want a pineapple that has a slightly yellow tinge on the rind.


Hugely anti-inflammatory and alkaline, celery is excellent for juicing.  Celery is full of potassium, calcium, vitamins C and K, folate, and antioxidants which help protect against oxidative damage to cells, blood vessels, and organ systems.  It is also full of important phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory and protective of the digestive tract and cardiovascular system.  Recent research done on mice indicated that a key component of celery known as apigenin slowed cancerous growths and shrank tumors and reduced the blood vessels feeding the tumors, as well as restricting nutrient flow to the tumor cells, thus starving them of the nutrients needed for growth.   Tip: Keep celery for no longer than 5-7 days in the refrigerator before using.


Berries are all rich in vitamin C, bioflavonoids, fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, silicon and iron. They also contain anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants and bacteria inhibitors. Many also contain ellagic acid.  Blueberries in particular have been studied for their ability to help halt the growth and spread of triple negative breast cancer.   Tip: If you are juicing berries with seeds (like raspberries or blackberries), you will want to use a masticating style juicer to separate the seeds from the juice.  Or you can also strain the juice afterward.


As we all know, lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, aids the immune system, and is a potent antioxidant. Lemon is also a great source of folate and potassium.  Lemons help you eliminate waste, are a natural antiseptic, cleanse the lymphatic system, and are very potent little cancer-fighters.  Tip: Lemons are not acidic once inside the body – once they enter the stomach they are alkaline and promote a healthy body pH.  Juice organic lemons WITH THE PEEL as the peel contains limonene, a potent anti-cancer phytochemical.


In studies on mice, ginger proved to be very effective in killing cancerous cells and it did this in two different ways.  First, ginger causes cancer cells to “commit suicide” (known as apoptosis) by destroying themselves while leaving the surrounding healthy cells untouched. Second, ginger tricks cancerous cells into eating themselves (known as autophagy).  In addition, ginger has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and this helps cancer patients in a third way – ginger helps to prevent tumors from creating the perfect scenario for growth. One study found that exposing ovarian cancer cells to a solution of ginger powder resulted in their death in every single test.  Tip: Peel your ginger and experiment with the size of chunk that you juice.  It adds a bit of heat and spice to the juice so start with small amounts and work your way up.  I use about a 1″ knob of ginger in my juice, I don’t mind the heat at all.  Ginger is also excellent for helping with nausea due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  You should not take ginger if you suffer from a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medications (such as warfarin or aspirin).


Broccoli is full of vitamins C and B, beta-carotene, folate, calcium, iron, selenium, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur and is one of the most highly regarded vegetables for breast cancer prevention. It has high levels of three powerful cancer-fighting phytochemicals – isothiocyanates, indoles and dithiolethiones. These special plant chemicals regulate the way in which cells respond to  environmental elements that can potentially trigger cancerous changes within the DNA of the cell.  The phytochemical indole has been found to increase the elimination of estrogen, which is great for those who have estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.  Tip: Keep the stems for juicing and eat the florets raw or lightly steamed.  Broccoli can have a strong flavor which might take some getting used to, juice it with other things that you love the taste of!

Great juicing recipes abound on the Internet, check out a few of these:

For more information on what to juice, visit my page Diet and Cancer.  See also my article The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – Which Juicer Or Blender To Use.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

The 12 Best Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer

Image source: / KEK064

Image source: / KEK064

The 12 Best Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer

This is the first of a four-part series.  In this article I will share with you the 12 best benefits of juicing if you have breast cancer (and even if you don’t!), the second article will cover what to juice, the third article will cover the best juicers to purchase, and the fourth article will share some really great juicing tips to help you save time and money.

As a breast cancer coach, I am increasingly aware of the fact that although juicing seems to be a hugely popular health food trend, not many people are aware of the actual benefits of juicing.  There are plenty of reasons, particularly if you are fighting breast cancer and going through all of the treatments, but even if you’re not, there are some compelling reasons for juicing.

Let’s jump right in.

The 12 Best Benefits of Juicing for Breast Cancer

  1. The Number One Reason – many fruits and vegetables have nutrients that kill cancer cells and/or stop the spread of cancer.  See my page Diet and Cancer for the very best ones.  If you are not a huge fan of eating lots of fruits and vegetables, juicing is a fantastic way to get them into your body.
  2. Juicing allows you to consume a large amount of vegetables and fruit and the phytonutrients (plant based nutrients) they contain.  Could you sit and eat 6 carrots, 2 apples, a big chunk of ginger and a slice of lemon in one sitting?  Probably not.  But you can certainly juice them and get all of the super-charged nutrients and antioxidants which are more easily and completely absorbed by the body than when taking synthetic vitamins.
  3. Cooking food destroys 100% of all enzymes in that food.  Because you are juicing raw vegetables and fruit, you can take advantage of all the living enzymes within that fruit or vegetable.  Why are enzymes important?  Enzymes are substances which make chemical reactions possible.  The enzymes found in natural, “live” foods and also in your body are the “work force” of the body. They are needed for the production of hormones, to break down the food you eat, for nutrients like minerals and vitamins to work, and thousands of other processes.  There are believed to be hundreds of thousands of enzymes in the body and without them, life cannot exist.
  4. Juicing is great for impaired digestion.  By the time we have reached middle age, our digestion is less than optimal and this limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients you take in.  Juicing helps to “pre-digest” these nutrients for you, allowing the highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes to rapidly enter the bloodstream so that you are able to absorb all of the nutritional benefits of the fruits and vegetables, giving your digestive organs a much-needed rest.
  5. You can enjoy a wider variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet.  If you worry that you aren’t eating a wide enough variety of fresh produce every day, juicing is a great way to remove that worry.
  6.  Juicing gives you more energy.  If you are going through treatments for breast cancer, you will be feeling the effects of those treatments.  I promise – you begin juicing and you will stop feeling this way.  Also, if you don’t have much of an appetite due to the treatment you’re on, sipping away at a lovely blend of juices in a glass helps you to feel better.  Just knowing each sip is full of potent cancer-kicking nutrients helps your peace of mind.
  7. Juicing helps to strengthen your immune system.  If you understand that our immune system is our number one defense against cancer cells, you will recognize the importance of juicing.  I’ll give you just one example of how this occurs.  Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, a substance in plants that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays a very important role in regulating the immune system, it helps the body fight off infections, and helps keep enough T-cells, also known as fighter cells, in circulation. It also boosts the activity of white blood cells, which defend the body from foreign substances.
  8. Juicing helps to reduce your risk of recurrence.  It only stands to reason that if you are juicing regularly, building your immune system, taking in all of the lovely super-charged nutrients that enter your body through the juices, you are actively helping to keep yourself well and reduce your risk of recurrence.  Additionally, cancer loves acid conditions and juicing helps to keep your body more alkaline.
  9. Juicing helps to reduce inflammation.  Inflammation has long been associated with the development of cancer, as well as other diseases like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, allergies, asthma, Crohn’s Disease, migraines and on and on.  Juicing regularly helps to relieve inflammatory conditions to a huge degree.  For more information, read this article: Why Cancer and Inflammation?
  10. Juicing helps to detoxify your body.  After going through chemotherapy and radiation, you often feel like you are a toxic waste dump, that you might actually glow in the dark.  Juicing during these treatments, and especially afterward, helps your body detox and eliminate the chemicals.  Just check with your oncologist, however, as some won’t allow juicing during the treatments.  I think it is the belief of some oncologists that antioxidants from the juicing may disrupt the action of the chemotherapeutic agents.  I juiced all during my chemotherapy, however, and I’m still here to tell the tale!  I feel it helped me enormously to do it that way.
  11. Juicing regularly helps clear your mind.   It actually helps to increase mental focus and improves clarity of thought.  All those lovely little phytonutrients are so beneficial for the healthy functioning of your brain and nervous system.
  12. Juicing reduces junk food cravings.  I love this last one – whether it’s a function of giving your cells the nutrition that they are craving or because you are eating less sugar when you are looking after yourself and juicing, it’s definitely a great side effect.

Look out for my next article The Benefits of Juicing For Breast Cancer – What To Juice

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!


Guest Writer: Jessica Socheski on 8 Ways To Communicate Pain Effectively To Your Doctor

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Today I’m welcoming Jessica Socheski, a freelance journalist who enjoys writing about health matters.  Jessica wished to share some information with my readers about how to effectively communicate pain to your doctor or care provider.

8 Ways To Effectively Communicate Pain To Your Doctor

Clear communication with your physician is essential to receiving the proper diagnosis and treatment for your pain. If there is a lapse in communication between a patient and his or her doctor, even great physicians will have trouble diagnosing their patient’s symptoms correctly.

People who are informed and prepared will be able to relay critical details to their physicians and ask them the right questions in order to receive the best care possible. Here are some simple steps about communicating effectively with your healthcare professional.

 1.  Speak Up

When speaking with your healthcare professional, do not be shy about your pain. Inform your doctor as to why you have made the appointment and talk openly about any related symptoms to your condition. If you have been having chronic migraines, inform your doctor about the symptoms you have leading up to the migraine, the pain during the migraine, and any residual effects.

In addition, tell your doctor if your pain interferes with any activities such as work or leisure activities, and whether your mood changes with the pain.

2. Be Specific

Show your doctor where the pain is and be as specific as possible about its location and intensity. If your migraine affects a certain area of your head, do not simply express that your head hurts. Instead, tell what side the pain resonates in, if it affects your sight, etc.

3. Describe Pain With Adjectives

Since only you know right where your pain is and to what extent it hurts, help your doctor understand by descriptively talking about your pain. Here is a list of adjectives that might be helpful:











4. Rate The Severity

Use a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you have ever felt. Rate your pain for a period of time before your doctor’s appointment, noting when the pain worsens and eases. Some people find keeping a record diary is helpful to provide their doctor.

5. Track Your Pain

Tell your doctor whether your pain is periodic, occasional, continuous, or related to a certain activity. Be sure to explain when the pain is at its worst and when it is at its best, or if anything triggers it like food, sleeping, time of day, activities, etc.

6. Devise A Treatment Plan

Treatment varies for each person and each doctor. Your doctor might prescribe pain medication, or they might offer suggestions such as massages, yoga, or light activity. Be sure to talk about what cures you may have already tried at home.

7. Be Honest

Do not be afraid to disagree with your doctor. If what they are relaying back to you seems unrelated to your pain or symptoms, tell them. This can help them to adjust their diagnosis or explain their thinking to you.

8. Be Prepared

Write out or mentally review your questions or concerns in advance. This way, when it comes time for your appointment, you will not forget any symptoms to relay to your doctor.

In order for your doctors to be able to treat you as best as they can, you need to be able to speak with them effectively. Use these tips to better describe your pain.

Thanks, Jessica, for the great advice.

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