Do You Lie to your Doc?

December 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
I feel great. I'm taking care of myself. I'm eating all my fruits and veggies. Have you ever told one of these fibs before? If you've told one to your doctor, you're in good company. A new survey shows lying to your doctor is a common habit. But, you might want to be honest at your next visit.A recent survey shows 52 percent of women reported that they routinely lie to their doctors. And a quarter didn't think it was a big deal. Doctor Michael Weaver, M.D., internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, says that's a common misconception.

"Something that a doctor would consider important, a patient may not recognize a connection to," Weaver explained to Ivanhoe.

Some of the top lies: I don't smoke, I don't drink, I floss all the time, I've never had an STD, I exercise regularly, I always use sunscreen, I'm monogamous -- and I'm not taking any other meds. Many patients said they lie out of fear, embarrassment or because they want approval from their doctor.

"It's much more important to be honest and try to be accurate,"Weaver says.

Here's why. Remember our list? Well -- if you really do smoke you may not heal as well after surgery. If you do drink your doctor may not prescribe certain meds. If you have an s-t-d delayed treatment can lead to fertility problems or even cervical cancer. If you don't use sunscreen your doctor may not perform important screening tests, and certain drug interactions can kill you! Telling the truth erases all these potential dangers.

So when it comes to your health, remember honesty is the best policy.

In a johns Hopkins study, researchers looked at how often those with breathing problems used an inhaler. 73 percent of patients reported using the inhaler three times a day, but data showed only 15 percent were actually using it that often. About 14 percent deliberately emptied their inhalers before their appointments to make it look like they were good patients.

For More Information, Contact:
Malorie Janis, Public Relations Specialist
VCU Medical Center
Richmond, VA
mgjanis@vcu.edu


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