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The Top 8 Secrets You Keep from Your Doctor

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

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.

7. You're Often Low on Energy

Fatigue is a factor in many illnesses, though people just think it's a byproduct of getting older. “But usually there is a reason that accounts for a change in their stamina or energy level, and if you don't tell the doctor, you won't get relief and may miss something important," Kaminetsky says.

Low energy levels could stem from illnesses, including stress, a poor diet, anemia, depression, and thyroid function. So mention it to your doctor so she can check if something medical is going on. 

8. Your Hobbies

You may not think sharing your hobbies with your doctor is of any importance, especially since many hobbies are an excellent way to reduce stress and contribute to good health. But it could be your hobby that's responsible for some medical symptoms.

Perhaps the way you sit at your desk writing your novel causes back or neck pain. Maybe piano playing contributes to your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or building model airplanes in a non-ventilated area is leading to chronic headaches on weekends.

So mention any hobbies to your doctor on the off chance an activity you take up may be related to your medical condition.  

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Reviewed on May 05, 2010

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