The Top 8 Secrets You Keep from Your Doctor
Are you telling your doctor everything he needs to know to take care of you?
4. Whether You're Stressed, Depressed, or Abused
If you're often stressed or sad -- or if you're in an abusive relationship
-- speak up.
"Doctors may not be licensed therapists, but every primary care physician
who has been practicing for a number of years is a bit of a therapist because
we've heard it all," Kaminetsky says.
Your doctor can help in offering advice, referring you to the right
specialist, or suggesting a counselor to deal with stress. He can also evaluate
if medication or therapy might help with depression.
5. Defying Doctor's Orders
When your doctor asks if you're taking your cholesterol-lowering statins
daily, don't lie and nod your head if you forget three days a week. Admit that
you have trouble remembering.
The same goes for birth control pills. “If I give you the pill and you're
not good at taking a pill every day, that would change my approach to birth
control with somebody," Rankin says.
If you're bad about taking or finishing the drugs your doctor prescribed --
no matter what it is -- tell your doctor. Your doctor won't punish
you. But if, for instance, you've had a stubborn infection that won't clear up,
it helps your doctor to know that you didn't finish the antibiotic he or
6. You Can't Sleep
You may think a sleep issue is inconsequential, that it will pass, or that
it's a simple factor of aging so you needn't bother the doctor about it. But
sleep problems can quickly become chronic and often can be easily remedied.
There are so many factors to consider for people who are sleeping poorly,
including stress, depression, menopausal changes, anxiety, or even serious
medical conditions like sleep apnea, a chronic condition in which you
repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, leading to daytime
Tell your doctor you're having trouble sleeping, and whether it's falling
asleep or staying asleep that's difficult. He may evaluate the problem and
offer advice -- like not exercising too close to bedtime, not drinking alcohol
too late, or not watching stimulating television before bed; or send you for a
sleep study to get at the root cause.