Sharing personal health details with your doctor can be uncomfortable, but when it comes to your health, honesty truly is the best policy. Read on to learn more about the importance of being honest with your doctor. Doing so can help you prepare — and be less stressed — for your next office visit.
Entering new relationships with honesty is always important. That includes the relationship you have with your doctor. Your entire health team wants to help you live your happiest, healthiest life. In order to do that, they need to understand certain aspects of your overall health and habits.
From the information you provide, your doctor will suggest treatments, and honesty is vital to receiving the most effective options. For example, if you’ve been feeling sad or depressed lately, or if you have taken medication that wasn’t prescribed by your doctor, it’s important to let your doctor know – even if it’s a difficult subject to talk about. It’s in your best interest to share all the details from the start, even if it’s uncomfortable. It can cause complications in treatment down the road – not to mention be a bit embarrassing – to have to correct a falsehood down the road.
As a medical professional, your doctor has experienced thousands of different illnesses, diseases, injuries, and procedures in their career. If you’re nervous about being honest, adding some perspective to the situation can relieve some stress. Your doctor is there to help you, not judge you. Being candid about bad habits, illnesses, or symptoms will help you get the best treatment.
Your everyday habits play a big role in your health, and they can even impact other health risks you might experience. For example, smoking cigarettes can lead to a number of additional health complications. If your doctor knows you’re a smoker, they will make their recommendations and treatments accordingly.
“Bad” habits aren’t the only things you should disclose, either. If you’re an avid runner, rock climber, or enjoy any other type of intense physical activity, make sure to tell your doctor.
As an advocate for your health, your doctor should know how you feel about certain aspects of health and wellness. If you have concerns about a vaccination or procedure, you should feel empowered to talk about them with your doctor. If you have extreme anxiety around a certain procedure, let your doctor know.
No matter the issue, your doctor can answer your questions and provide additional resources. Being honest starts a dialogue, which is key to building and enhancing the doctor-patient relationship.