How many times have you filled out the form at the doctorís office and lied? Everyone raise their hands (Bueller? Bueller?). Yeah, me too. And Iím a doctor.† Why do we do this? Hey, there are some very personal questions on these forms!† And you want your doctor to like you and not judge you.† You may be engaging in behaviors you know are risky to your health but donít want to face. You may have secrets youíve never told anybody before and donít feel like sharing now.† You may be too embarrassed to mention something.† You may be afraid your partner or your boss or your mother or your insurance company will find out something about you youíd rather they not know.† I hear you.
Does it really matter? Do you really need to tell your doctor the truth?† ĎFraid so. WebMD just interviewed me about this very topic, so I thought Iíd share the notes I made for my interview with them.† Here are some common things people donít tell their doctors and some thoughts on why itís important that we know.
- Youíre cheating on your partner. If youíre having an illicit affair, youíre probably going to great lengths to keep your secret, so why would you spill the beans to your doctor? Because you may be putting yourself and your partners at risk. Trust me. Itís much better to tell your doctor and nip a sexually-transmitted disease in the bud than to have your partner discover your affair when she winds up with chlamydia. If we know, we can get you tested and help protect you and your partners.
- Youíve had an abortion. Maybe your husband doesnít even know about that pregnancy you terminated back when you were in college. And you certainly donít want him finding out now. So does it really matter? Well, it depends. If youíre trying to get pregnant, yes. It gives your doctor very important information. We know the pipes worked once upon a time and actually improves the likelihood that youíll get pregnant when compared to someone who has never conceived before. But if youíre having trouble getting pregnant, itís possible that thereís scar tissue from the abortion.
- You drink too much, use illegal drugs, or are hooked on prescription meds. Your indulgences may be putting your body at more risk than you know. Even small amounts of alcohol increase your risk of breast cancer, while greater intake can put your liver, stomach, brain and many other organs at risk. And you donít have to be hooked on cocaine for it to cause a heart attack.† The more we know, the more we can educate you about how to live most vitally and keep your body healthy.