More than 40 percent of Americans admitted that they’ve lied to their doctor during a checkup. But a little white lie could turn in big health problems.
Omitting information, bending the truth or straight up lying can change how your doctor cares for you and the advice she gives you. Here are four things you should definitely tell the truth about:
How much alcohol you drink
You hear the term “binge drinking” and probably think of crazy college parties, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70 percent of binge drinking actually happens in adults over 26. Women who drink too much — more than one drink a day — may be at an increased risk of both breast cancer and heart disease. So try to recount honestly all the drinks you typically have in a week (including the large glasses of wine that may equal two drinks) when chatting with your doctor. Besides advice on how to cut down, your doctor can check your liver enzymes to make sure there are no long-term effects that you may be unaware of.
Your sex life
It’s bad enough that you have to get undressed and wear a tiny paper gown, but giving the details about your sexual history can be even more nerve wracking. Some women feel like they have to lie about using contraception or alter their number of sexual partners. And that’s the problem: When you lie, whether outright or by omission — you run the risk of not being adequately tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or counseled on how to fully protect yourself against them. STDs, like herpes and HIV, can exist without any symptoms, so making your doctor aware of any possible exposure is crucial so he can test you.
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