Honesty is the best health policy, but many patients are embarrassed to share certain types of personal information with their doctors.
That can be a costly—even deadly—mistake, says Joe Colella, M.D., a Pittsburgh-based physician.
"Very often patients hold back or distort important information that can be lifesaving," he tells Newsmax Health. "They're afraid of being judged, but they should never feel that way. Doctors don't generally make moral judgments. They are there to make you healthier, which they can't do if they don't know the facts."
Here are seven secrets you should never withhold from your doctor:
1. You're taking supplements.
Your doctor needs to know everything you are taking, including vitamins and other supplements to make sure that there is no dangerous interactions between them or with drugs you are taking. Gingko, for example, can dangerously interact with blood pressure medications.
2. There's blood in your stool or urine.
People don't like to talk about body functions, but the presence of blood can signal more serious illness, says Dr. Colella. Blood in the stool is a symptom of colorectal cancer which, if caught early, is curable.
3. You saw something on the Internet that worries you.
"I'm a huge fan of having well informed patients," says Dr. Colella. "It means that they are paying attention to their health. Just remember that medical information gathered from the web is general and may not relate to your case."
4. You have poor diet and exercise habits.
Dr. Colella says that most people exaggerate about how much they exercise and downplay unhealthy eating. "You shouldn't be embarrassed to talk to your doctor about your diet because he or she can help," he says.
5. You are depressed or have other mental symptoms.
There should be no stigma about mental illness when talking to your doctor. If you are feeling depressed, your doctor is the first person who should know.
6. You stopped taking a medication.
People feel guilty about stopping medications without telling their doctor, so they keep it secret. This can be very dangerous, says Dr. Colella, especially when drug is a blood pressure med, blood thinner, or antidepressants.
7. You're not interested in sex lately.
It's important to come clean about your sex life because lack of interest can signal a more serious problem such as vascular disease, an imbalance in blood chemistry, and even anxiety or depression.
For the original article, visit newsmaxhealth.com.