15 Spanish phrases for chatting about health with your host family

by Alison Maciejewski Cortez
January 18, 2021
friends looking up Spanish health related phrases on their ipad

Today’s blog post is for all those students doing a programme for study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Here at Lingoda, we always tell our blog readers that immersion is the best way to learn Spanish. The opportunity to study abroad should not be missed. Whether you end up in Spain, Ecuador, or Argentina you will need to speak with your host family about health issues. As a guest in a new country and a student far from home, your host family is responsible for your welfare. To help them, you should be prepared to explain your health needs and preferences. Here are 15 Spanish phrases for speaking about health with your host family.

Health and diet in Spanish

Back in 2004, I lived in Madrid with two other exchange students. Our house mother was nearly 80 years old and cooked two meals a day for us. She also had set meal times which interfered with my roommate’s strict exercise routine. As a generous host, it was important to us that she didn’t spend time or money on meals that would go to waste. Since it’s important to be respectful of your host’s efforts, these phrases will help you explain health and dietary preferences to your host family.

  1. Me gusta correr en las mañanas antes de clase – I like to run/jog in the morning before class
  2. Quiero una membresía al gimnasio – I want a membership to the gym
  3. Quiero buscar clases de yoga – I want to find yoga classes
  4. Soy vegetariana pero sí como huevos – I am (a) vegetarian but I do eat eggs
  5. Soy vegana así que no tomo leche de animal – I am (a) vegan so I don’t drink animal’s milk 
  6. Ella quiere asegurarse de que la comida sea halal – She wants to be sure the food is halal
  7. Él come “kosher” o solo las cosas comestibles según la ley judía – He eats kosher or only things that are edible according to the Jewish law
  8. Tengo alergia a los mariscos pero sí puedo comer pescado – I am allergic to seafood but I can eat fish.

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Describing health problems in Spanish

When it comes to health problems in Spanish, it’s important for your host family to know about any conditions you may have. This way they will recognise when a health issue comes up. By learning Spanish phrases to describe your health history, your host family can be prepared to get you the best possible care. 

  1. Soy diabética/o – I am (a) diabetic (use this phrasing for chronic health conditions)
  2. Tengo asma – I have asthma 
  3. Tomo medicación diaria – I take daily medication.
  4. Me operaron la rodilla – I had surgery on my knee
  5. Tengo la presión baja.. – I have low blood pressure. 
  6. A veces necesito sentarme de inmediato – Sometimes I need to sit down immediately.
  7. Tengo una reacción severa a las picaduras de abejas/avispas – I have a severe reaction to bee/wasp stings.

With many of these phrases, other illnesses or body parts can be substituted for the underlined portion. We will go over body parts and anatomy in Spanish in a future blog post so you can be as specific as possible. As long as they understand your allergies, diet, and conditions, the main points will be covered.

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Do you know how to describe your health needs in Spanish? 

Get ready for your study abroad experience by registering for a 7-day free trial with native speaking Spanish teachers at Lingoda today. You’ll learn more than just basic Spanish phrases in these classes!

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