6 things to share with your doctor
It is important to be honest with a doctor about certain health habits, but sometimes it isn’t so easy to be forthcoming. Fear of being judged or discussing embarrassing situations may prevent some patients from telling medical professionals the whole story. However, the things people do not share could end up compromising their treatment or prevent doctors from discovering certain ailments.
Rather than omitting information, people need to be frank with their doctors. Honesty is important when speaking with a physician, even when the discussion turns to the following potentially sensitive topics.
Smoking: Even if you aren’t a daily smoker, mention if you smoke in social situations or grab a drag once in a while. Smoking increases the risk for many illnesses and can compromise how effective some medications can be.
Alcohol consumption: Be honest about how much you drink, as alcohol can interfere with medications.
Supplement usage: Over-the-counter medicines, herbs and other supplements can affect overall health. A doctor needs to know the entire picture before prescribing treatment.
Exercise habits: Don’t claim to be a gym rat if you’re more of a couch potato. An accurate idea of their patients’ fitness levels and habits is a key diagnostic tool for physicians.
Unusual issues: Be forthright with any issues, even those that occur in embarrassing areas of the body. Remember, if you’re uncomfortable with your doctor, you can always get a referral for a specialist who treats those areas of the body daily.
Drug use: Prescriptions are written in dosages for the intended recipient. Taking drugs that are not prescribed to you, whether it’s a loved one’s prescription or an illicit drug, affects your body. If you have a medical issue, consult with your doctor so you can get your own legal prescription or begin working toward addressing your addiction.
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Women, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, are 33% more likely than men to visit a doctor, and 100% more likely to have an annual exam.