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Health and Fitness News

Honesty with Your Physician

What you should tell your doctor but you’re probably not.

When your doctor asks how often you exercise or if your bowel movements are normal, she’s not trying to make small talk. Avoiding or twisting the truth may not seem like a big deal, but it’s riskier to your health than you may think. The answers you give and the information you volunteer may be vital to your long-term health.

Maybe you’re embarrassed about the truth, want to appear healthier than you really are, or just don’t think it’s a big deal. Here are seven of the most common secrets folks keep from their doctors and how avoiding the truth may be hurting them.

Mental Condition

It’s a proven fact that depression, stress, and anxiety affect all areas of your health. When your doctor asks how you’ve been, before replying that you’re fine, reconsider. Your doctor’s heard it all and is under law to keep your conversation private. He may not be a therapist but can recommend a counselor or prescribe medication to help. Been under a lot of stress? Feeling depressed or anxious? Don’t hesitate to open up.

Medications and Supplements

Maybe you don’t drink milk so you take a calcium supplement or perhaps you take a fiber supplement to relieve constipation. Don’t keep this information from your doctor. Many over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, and supplements interact with prescription drugs to cause negative side effects or prevent the drugs from having their full effect.

Smoking, Drinking, Drugs

Unless you’re a danger to yourself or others, doctors are under law to keep what you share confidential. In order to protect your health and correctly diagnose you, they need to know the full extent of your drinking, smoking, and drug use.

Energy Level

It’s easy to excuse a lack of energy on aging or poor sleep, but fatigue can be a sign of an underlying health condition. Illnesses such as depression, thyroid problems, and anemia may all cause a drop in energy levels so be honest with your doctor about daytime fatigue.

Doctor’s Orders

If your doctor prescribed a treatment plan the last time you saw her and you haven’t followed it, don’t lie and say that you have. Your doctor won’t be mad, and she needs to know the full story to understand what’s affecting your condition. Didn’t finish your antibiotics? No wonder your infection isn’t gone.

Haven’t been consistent with your heart medicine? It’s no surprise your blood pressure is still high. If you want to appear to be following doctor’s orders, follow them!

Diet and Exercise

How you take care of your body directly affects your health. Chronic disease is often the result of poor diet and/or lack of exercise. Only exercise occasionally? Don’t say regularly. Struggle with overeating? Let your doctor know the truth. Give your doctor a realistic picture of your normal eating and exercise habits to ensure you get the right advice and most effective treatment plan.


An occasional poor night of sleep is expected. Maybe you drink too much caffeine or have a lot on your mind on occasion. But when you consistently have trouble sleeping, mention it to your doctor. Sleep problems can become chronic if not addressed early on and they’re usually easy to treat. In some cases, trouble falling or staying asleep may be the result of depression, stress, anxiety, menopause, or sleep apnea. Get the underlying condition under control, and your sleep will fix itself.