Many times people are embarrassed to mention little details about themselves to their doctors that they think could reflect negatively on them. When it comes to your health, no detail is too small or too embarrassing. Reveal all to your doctor; keeping secrets doesn’t benefit you or your health care at all.
As a Preventative Measure – Tell Your Doctor These Things:
1. You’ve stopped taking the medication that they prescribed – if you don’t tell your doctor that you’ve stopped, they will think it’s not working and possibly prescribe you a higher dosage or a new medication. If you don’t take the medication, you are at risk of suffering adverse outcomes from the condition that needs to be treated. For example, if you’re supposed to be taking a medication for heart disease and you don’t, you are increasing your risk of suffering a heart attack.
2. You’re taking natural supplements – many people are afraid to tell their doctors that they are experimenting with natural supplements as part of their daily routine. Reasons for taking natural supplements vary from preventative reasons to natural treatment reasons. This can pose a danger because some natural supplements can negatively interfere with prescription medication that you are taking. Just because they are called natural supplements, does not mean that they don’t have side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor every name and dosage of the natural supplements that you are using.
3. Your sexual history – while this may be an uncomfortable subject, it is definitely something that your doctor needs to know. As your number of sexual partners increases, so does your chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease. Sexual preferences can also increase your risk for certain conditions. Based on the information that you provide, your doctor can determine the need for testing and screening that is best for you.
4. Your bathroom habits – maybe there’s blood in your stool or maybe you’re frequently constipated. Whatever is going on in the bathroom that is out of the ordinary for you needs to be mentioned to your doctor. Colorectal cancer is much more treatable if caught early.
5. You’re feeling blue – many people are embarrassed about possible problems with their mental health and don’t mention symptoms of depression to their doctor. But you should, your emotional health can affect your physical health. There are many treatment options available to get you through periods in your life when you’re feeling depressed.
6. Your “real” diet and exercise regimen – a healthy diet is essential for overall health, including heart health. Don’t lie and tell your doctor you’re eating a heart healthy diet and exercising regularly if you’re not. Keeping a journal of what you eat and when you exercise will help to give your doctor an overall picture of your real lifestyle. Tweaks can be made if necessary, and a referral to a nutritionist or personal trainer can be made as a preventative measure if warranted.
7. Your family history – you may not want your doctor to know that your dad has heart disease and has suffered a heart attack, or that your mom is an alcoholic and is depressed but these are things that they need to know. There are conditions, such as heart disease that run in families. Sharing an accurate family history with your doctor will allow them to develop a preventative plan for your healthcare. Keeping secrets about your family isn’t protecting your family members and it’s definitely not protecting you.
8. You’re seeing other doctors – whether it’s another medical doctor, or an alternative care provider such as a naturopath or chiropractor, let your doctor know. Many people seek out alternative healthcare providers as a preventative step for better health. Making sure that all of the members on your healthcare team are on the same page will ensure that you are getting the best healthcare possible.
Keep in mind that your doctor isn’t there to judge you, be as honest as possible with them for the best health care results. If you do feel that you are being judged, perhaps it’s time to look for a new doctor.