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Women's Health

The Top 8 Secrets You Keep from Your Doctor

Are you telling your doctor everything he needs to know to take care of you?
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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 she prescribed.

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 sleepiness.

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.

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