By Dr. Jane Greer

Lady Gaga announced she is postponing the European leg of her Joanne world tour until next year because she is in a great deal of physical pain, and has decided to take this time to try to heal so that she can come back stronger. This is a very difficult thing to do, since as a performer she may feel like she’s letting down her fans. She has been open about her battle with fibromyalgia, including the side effects of anxiety and depression, but until now has pushed through it. In order for her to take this drastic and important step, one can only imagine the acute discomfort she is experiencing. She clearly has such a strong work ethic, and over the years we have witnessed the incredible details that go into her work. It often seems she will do anything for her fans. But the time has come to focus on herself, making her fans number two for the time being. You don’t have to be Lady Gaga or a performer to have a strong response to the people in your life, making it tough to take yourself out, even if it is just for a short time, and do what you have to do if you are suffering from a physical or emotional situation that is making it hard to function in your daily life. Sometimes even being able to find the time to get to the doctor for a simple appointment can seem daunting. So many of us feel a need to keep going, in work or taking care of family, and feel too guilty to take any time out for self-care.

The thing is, when you neglect yourself, not only can it compromise your work and caretaking, there is also a chance you will miss something with your health that needs your attention. When you consider the celebrity news behind Lady Gaga, it’s very important to take care of yourself.

It seems like the obvious response that if you are not feeling well you will check it out, but so many people simply don’t and continue to ignore whatever is bothering them, often trying to forge ahead and doing further harm. It isn’t until you have gone over a cliff or hit a wall, simply unable to go on in the same way, that many people stop to consider their own needs. By then, though, recuperating might take even longer and be more complicated.

If you are one of those people who finds it difficult to put your own needs first but might be concerned about a personal health issue, what can you do? This does not include situations that might seem like an emergency – a terrible headache, a pain in your left arm, symptoms of a possible stroke – in those cases it is essential to seek immediate medical help. But for more subtle symptoms that linger, making you feel different from your norm, it is important to pay attention and take inventory. Give yourself a timeline, deciding that if the symptoms don’t go away by a certain time you will go to a doctor. Some health issues present themselves in a flurry of symptoms that are hard to pinpoint and too easy to explain away. If these persist, don’t ignore them.

Along the same lines, if you’re dealing with health concerns and physical pain, it helps to be able to talk about it with people, friends and family. That way they can let you know that they care about you, as well as offer support and be helpful with whatever you’re going through. It gives them a chance to be there for you.

Lady Gaga was open in sharing her painful condition, and is a role model for all of us. One thing she will most certainly feel in the coming weeks and months is the tremendous love and caring of all her fans .

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on HealthyLife.net every Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. First and third Tuesdays are Shrink Wrap on Call, second Tuesdays are HuffPost on Call, and the last Tuesday of the month is Let’s Talk Sex! Email your questions dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships to Dr. Greer at askdrjane@drjanegreer.com. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy. For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.