The fear of being judged also drives us to lie about the very things that we should be discussing with our doctors. Find out about the things that most people lie about, and why they do it.
According to a survey, 77% healthcare providers believed that their patients lied to them about their health/habits.
We often lie about a lot of things and sometimes fib without giving it a second thought. After all, a little white lie doesn’t hurts anyone, right? Wrong! The lies you tell your doctor will harm no one other than you. Sometimes, the fear of being embarrassed can make us hide the truth about our health history or not be completely honest with our general practitioner.
What we don’t realize is that, doctors are probably the safest people to confess our health habits to, because they are required to keep the patient information confidential.
Not disclosing relevant information pertaining to your health to a doctor, is not only unwise but also dangerous. Keeping your physician updated about little aches and pain, weight gain or loss, and other issues can help avert and avoid health conditions, such as heart attack, diabetes, and strokes. This WellnessKeen article discusses some of the lies you should never tell your doctor and why.
Why You Shouldn’t Lie to Your Doctor
Lie: I have never smoked and I hardly ever drink.
Let’s face the facts. If you do smoke and have no problem smoking in public, why would you hide this piece of important information from your own doctor? Smoking as we all know, causes immense damage to our health. That being said, shouldn’t your priority be to look after your health first and not worry about what your doctor might think or say? If your doctor is made aware that you smoke or drink (or both), he will take measures to check the state of your health through blood tests, etc. He may also ask you to exercise more or suggest an alternative diet that is healthier. However, lying about not being a smoker or drinker, will make you vulnerable to all the health complications associated with these habits, most of which can be averted if diagnosed or monitored in time. Even those who have quit smoking and drink occasionally, must keep their doctors informed about how they feel and if they have cravings or experience any physical or emotional discomfort.
Lie: I exercise regularly and eat healthy food.
There is no need to feel guilty if you don’t exercise at all or not as much as you have been asked to by your doctor. It would save you and the doctor a lot of trouble, if you just came out with the truth and informed your doctor that you’ve not had the time or the inclination to exercise. Once the doctor knows this fact, he will be able to suggest other ways of helping you lose weight or get healthier, without having to make exercising seem like a chore. Similarly, being secretive about your eating habits can also put you at risk of heart problems and weight issues. Starving yourself, not eating enough, or overeating, is not going to harm anyone else but you! Therefore, your doctor must be made aware of your eating habits, so that he can frame a healthy dietary plan for you, if required.
Lie: I always practice safe sex.
This one probably tops the charts of ‘the most-told lies to doctors’. Irrespective of how humiliated you may feel about disclosing such private information, you have got to remember that you’re talking to a doctor and not your parents. No one is going to judge or reproach you here. Letting the doctor know that you have had unprotected intercourse in the last three months or less is imperative, to ensure that you are not suffering from any STIs/STDs. Many of the sexually transmitted infections are asymptomatic and may go undetected for months or years. There is also no point in hiding information about past infections, and especially those that may still be lying dormant. Viral infections such as herpes and HPV can be prevented from flaring up during pregnancy. Your doctor may also suggest that you switch over to other methods of contraception.
Lie: I am not stressed or depressed.
If you are aware that you are suffering from high levels of stress or are undergoing depression, you must talk about these issues with your doctor. You may think that no one will understand your problems, but a doctor will at least try to find a solution for your troubles. Patients showing signs of anxiety and depression are usually screened for underlying conditions that may cause sleeplessness, palpitations, listlessness, etc. If the health reports do not show any problems, then the patient is usually referred to a psychologist for further assessment.
Lie: I’m not mixing my medication.
It is very important that you inform your doctor about the herbal and vitamin supplements that you may be having along with your prescribed medication. You definitely should not be mixing over-the-counter medicines without consulting your general physician. Such health risks should not be taken, because one can never tell when one medication may adversely react with another and cause dangerous side effects. Also, some medications may override the effect of another and make it weaker or ineffective, which may aggravate the patient’s condition even more.
Lie: I brush and floss every night.
While you think you can get away by lying about your oral hygiene, it is unlikely that the dentist will believe you. Your oral health can reflect upon the state of your health and can also help diagnose underlying health conditions, such as gastrointestinal problems, respiratory issues, and even detect mouth cancer at a very early stage. That apart, many times, we are so embarrassed at having a cavity or two, that we keep delaying the process of getting the tooth cleaned and filled. It is only when the toothache becomes too much to bear do we go seeking help!
Treat your doctor as a confidant because he truly is there to help you and keep you from falling ill. Don’t shy away from talking about your past and ongoing health issues with him.