Secrets you shouldn’t keep from your doctor

You have no problem telling your physician about the pain in your right arm. But the pain down there? Forget it – it’ll probably go away.

Often, patients don’t talk to their doctors because they’re afraid of the answer or what the physician will think of them. But choosing not to tell your doctor the whole truth can hurt you. There are things you should always bring up with your physician.

You’re popping vitamins, herbs or supplements

You pop a daily multivitamin, an herbal supplement for sleep and a powder to improve memory. They’re harmless, right?

Not always. Supplements (can) cause symptoms and interfere with some medications. The herb, which many people take to enhance memory, also interacts with blood-pressure medications, dangerously lowering levels. Calcium, which many women take for bone health, can reduce absorption of antibiotics.

Bloody stool

We generally don’t like to have a potty talk with any one, not even our doctor. Even if they ask you hardly remember or even care to know. But the answer is that it could save your life.

Blood in the stool is a symptom of colorectal cancer, which is curable when caught early. So mention any change in bathroom habits to your doctor. Also if you’ve always been regular and suddenly you’re constipated for several weeks, tell your doctor.

You’re depressed

So you’ve been feeling a little down; it’ll pass, you think. Besides, why bother your doctor with it?

Emotions can affect your physical health, and depressed people often feel fatigued, lose their appetite or have stomach aches.

If your doctor doesn’t know you’re depressed, you may have to undergo unnecessary tests or medications. Primary-care physicians and ob-gyns are trained to assess and treat depression

If you’re not comfortable mentioning it at the appointment, bring a friend or family member for support.

Your Google gyan

Many women go online first to diagnose health problems. Would your doctor be offended? Not at all! Most doctors say they like well-informed patients. Just say, ‘I saw something on the Internet. Do I need to be concerned?’Also, remember much of what you read online is general.

Information on the Internet isn’t specific to the people reading it and it may not apply to your case.

You don’t eat right and exercise regularly

That morning samosa and jalebi ritual? Those couch potato nights? Admit them to your doc.

People often lie or omit information because they don’t realize how harmful those habits really are.

That’s why we recommend that overweight people keep a food diary, so they can get a more realistic picture of what they eat in a day. Even if weight isn’t an issue, talk to your doctor about your diet. You may not need a major meal overhaul – just a little tweaking.

Unhealthy eating habits are linked to chronic diseases, such as heart attacks, diabetes and more.

You stopped your medication

Instead of telling the doctor, some patients (act) on their own. That’s one of the most dangerous things you can do.

The medicine your doctor prescribes is designed to keep you healthy — and the side effects you’ve heard about might be rare or insignificant. If you’re having problems with medication, ask to be switched to another that won’t affect you the same way.

Sexually bored

People are pretty open about their physical complaints, but they’re not so open about sexual issues.

But women need to talk about emotional and sexual health with their doctor, because it can be a symptom of a physical problem.

Loss of desire can signal health issues, such as chronic stress, anxiety, depression or even anorexia. Some pre-menopausal symptoms can also cause sexual problems, such as vaginal dryness.

That surgery years ago doesn’t matter

When you see your doctor, especially for the first time, share the details of your medical history – including the tonsillectomy you had at age 4.Your physician needs background information to diagnose and prescribe the best treatment for you.

Tell the doctor about any major illnesses in your immediate family and your previous major illnesses, past surgeries and current conditions.

List all medications you’re taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements, along with any adverse reactions you’ve had.

Had any recent X-rays or medical tests? Bring the films or results, if possible.

Besides medical history, jot notes about current symptoms.

If you’re having headaches, for example, how often do they occur and at what time of day? How painful are they? What type of pain do they cause – sharp or dull throbbing? There’s an advantage to being well prepared: You’ll get better treatment.