Confessions in the Doctor’s Office: The Dangers of Lying about your Health
Most Common Patient Lies
There are a variety of lies we tell doctors: half-truths, white lies, lies to get medications, lies not to get medications, lies to avoid embarrassment. But most doctors agree, no matter what kind of lie it is, it could be harming you. According to one survey, 28 percent of doctors think more than half of their patients lie to them. Here are some of the most common things patients lie about:
Smoking: Claiming that you’ve stopped smoking, are smoking less, or don’t smoke at all even though you do are all things your doctor needs to know. Smoking even the occasional cigarette can affect your circulation. It can also affect women who are on the pill, making them potentially more susceptible to blood clots.
Personal problems: Many people think their doctors are only there to treat their medical conditions, but doctors take in a lot of information when making diagnoses. If anything from your relationship to your job is making you feel stressed, depressed, or unhappy, your doctor could use that information to help you in a variety of ways.
Taking supplements: The CDC reports more than half of Americans currently take supplements, yet when your doctor asks “are you taking anything?” many of us respond with a “no.” These supplements can impact what your doctor prescribes: for example, fish oils can thin your blood, and St. John’s wort can make birth control pills less effective.
Safe sex: According to the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, nearly two-thirds of single people have occasional unprotected sex. Even though it may be embarrassing to talk about, your sexual history can come back to bite you. STD’s like HPV and chlamydia, if not treated, can impact your reproductive organs and increase your risk for some cancers.
(Sources: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/body/head-to-toe/health-lies/, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323478004578306510461212692, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17188153)
SMART WOMAN CONTACT:
Media Relations Coordinator, Baycare Hospitals