I don’t know anyone that likes going to the doctor, but at the first sign of a scratchy throat I’m in her office. I tell her about my runny nose, coughing, and constant sneezing. She makes treatment a plan based on the information I give her and then I’m on my way. But what about those times when there is something I don’t exactly want to share with her? You know, the things I’m embarrassed to talk about, the stuff I’m tempted to omit. Here are 10 things you should never lie to your doctor about.
1. Diet and Exercise
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I have a love/hate relationship with diet and exercise. I love that it will make me healthy and look fabulous, but I hate the part where I have to do it. Your doctor won’t be surprised if you tell her that it isn’t your favorite thing to do either. Being honest though means that she can rule out potentially harmful causes of your weight gain and help you come up with a way to change your habits. Plus the scale will tell on you!
2. Drinking, Smoking and Drug Use
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Your doctor can’t properly diagnose and treat you if you keep your excessive drinking, smoking or drug abuse from her. Maybe you don’t want to hear another lecture. Perhaps you’re worried about the ramifications of illegal activities. There are strict privacy laws between a physician and her patients and any information you share can’t be shared with anyone else.
3. Bodily Functions
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One of the most uncomfortable things to discuss is body functions. Even thinking about it makes me feel icky. Disclosing odd smells, weird colors and abnormal sensations are crucial in determining the source of the problem. Sometimes it’s the result a change in diet other times it’s the sign that something more serious is wrong. Either way, she needs to know.
4. Alternative Methods
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Disclosing alternative medicine practices might get you a few raised eyebrows and an “uh-huh” from your doctor, but it’s still important that she know this. Sometimes that home remedy you found on the internet not only fails to cure your ailments, but causes new ones as well. If you inform her of the alternate things you’re trying, she can properly diagnose and treat you accordingly.
5. Depression and Anxiety
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Everyone gets sad and anxious, but if you notice that even slapstick comedies are making you emotional, well then it might be time to tell your doctor. Depression and anxiety should be taken seriously. When left unchecked they can affect your body, lifestyle and even be deadly. Your doctor can give you resources that don’t always include medication and psychiatry.
6. Patient History
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You may not want to admit that obesity runs in your family or maybe you feel obligated to omit the fact that you’ve been treated for something embarrassing in the past. This is stuff your physician needs to know. Having a history of certain problems can put you at risk for new ones if they aren’t properly identified and treated.
7. Sex Habits
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No one wants to be judged when it comes to their sex lives but your doctor needs to know. Lying about STD’s, the number of sexual partners and pregnancies can lead to serious problems like pelvic infections, cervical cancer and fertility problems. And remember, your doctor isn’t going to sell this information to TMZ.
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Telling your doctor about the medications you’re taking can literally mean life or death. You might not want to fess up that you’re on something that treats an embarrassing ailment, but what happens if she prescribes something for a different ailment and the combination proves to be ineffective, cause adverse effect or even be dangerous? Disclose your medications along with the dosage and how often you take it.
9. Defying Orders
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I have to be diagnosed with a serious infection before my doctor will give me an antibiotic. All the while she lectures me about the importance of following the instructions to the T and finishing all of it even when I start to feel better. She’s been my doctor for years and knows that finishing a RX has never been my strong suit. Therefore she adjusts, giving me just enough to get rid of what I’ve got. Be honest, tell her that you didn’t follow her directions exactly. It helps her decide how to better treat you and she’ll be able to work with you on a better method for next time.
10. Going for Second Opinions
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Your doctor is well aware that she isn’t the end all and be all of medical care. She can tell you what she knows, she can make recommendations, but the final decision is always up to you. If you choose to see someone else for a second opinion, let her know that. This way she can work with the second doctor has told you and find a way to diagnose and treat your ailments.
Keep your doctor informed, so you can work on your health and happiness together. Do any of your friends (wink wink) have things they may have been timid about sharing with their doctor? Please share! I promise not to tell...
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