9 Lifestyle Developments You Must Not Hide from Your Doctor

Discussing personal issues and habits with doctors is not an easy task. We are often tempted to hide certain lifestyle habits from them. However, if you’re not sharing everything with your doctor, you might be putting your health at stake.

Your doctor’s office is one place where you should be completely honest about your habits and health issues. Some things might be embarrassing to reveal, but hiding such facts from your doctor might take a toll on your health. Your doctor will only be able to cure a particular health issue if he or she is well aware of it.

Moreover, there exist certain privacy laws between doctor and patients, which ensure that the information you share is going to be kept confidential. Here’s a list of 9 lifestyle developments you must never hide from a doctor.

You’re consuming too much alcohol

No one can proudly admit that they binge drink. Most people are under the impression that doctors don’t have to know about this habit. Apart from causing many health issues, excessive drinking can throw test results off and mislead your doctor during a health checkup.

Moreover, the doctors very well can help you avoid binge drinking. As per Dr. Stanley Chia, a cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, binge drinking can cause serious health issues. It causes problems like high blood pressure, liver cancer, alcohol dependence, pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, gastric problems and various psychological conditions, in the long term.

Hence, it’s important to reveal your drinking problem to your doctor. This habit will enable them to treat you more accurately and also help to keep your drinking problem at bay.

You can’t give up smoking

Most of the people are afraid to reveal this habit to avoid a lecture from their doctor. Apparently, smoking interferes with certain drugs, that’s why your doctor needs to know if you smoke, before prescribing you a particular medication. Moreover, smoking is the primary reason which triggers many critical disorders. According to Dr. Leslie Tay, the cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, if you smoke regularly, you are very much prone to get a heart illness or cancer in your lifetime. It is crucial to get help to stop this habit, and your doctor can help you quit, either through some therapy or an active medication.

You’re suffering from insomnia

People are under the impression that difficulty in sleepy is a minor health issue, which is not important to share with your doctor. What they don’t realize is that difficulty in sleeping can be a symptom of many underlying health problems, like, anxiety, sleep apnoea or depression. Moreover, insomnia negatively affects our heart’s health, according to Dr. Tay Hin Ngan, who is the ENT specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

Therefore, if you’re having difficulty in sleeping, you need to reveal this secret to your doctor, so that he can assess the issue and help you seek advice from the desired specialist.

You’re not taking your medicines

One needs to consult their doctor before stopping or reducing the regularity of any medication, even if according to you, your health issue is no longer there. You are required to be completely honest about your medicine intake as only that’s when your doctor can make the right diagnosis of your health and create the follow-up management plan.

You’re suffering from bladder and bowel dysfunction
Starting from when we were young, talking about poop was considered wrong. As grown ups, we openly talk about all our body functions. But even as adults, people are embarrassed to talk about symptoms like having blood in the stool. Not talking about this illness can put your health at a grave danger. The presence of blood in stool could be a sign of colorectal cancer. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is curable if caught at an early stage.

Also, wetting your pants when you sneeze is a highly common thing, and hence, one shouldn’t be so embarrassed to talk about this. As per a local research, about a third of Singaporean women above the age of 50 suffer from urinary stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is an illness where in a person leaks urine involuntarily. It usually happens when the person is coughing, sneezing, laughing or jumping. However, this condition is highly treatable. There are many treatment options and exercise techniques available to stop the involuntary leakage of urine.

You’re feeling depressed

While talking to your doctor, one should not be hesitant to talk about their mental illness. If someone is feeling blue, their doctor is the one who can help them.Tiredness, mood swings, and low energy levels could emerge from conditions like stress, thyroid imbalance, depression, poor lifestyle habits or anaemia. Sharing this situation with doctors can help to achieve the desired treatment and advice by the right specialist.

You eat unhealthy food and don’t exercise

Poor lifestyle habit tends to deteriorate our health, especially as we age. As per Dr. Leslie Tay, being desk bound can be a lot more deadly than being over-weight. Furthermore, even a small workout session can significantly reduce the chances to die at a premature age.

Lying about your lifestyle could lead to less effective treatment. If you have a weakness for potato chips or fried chicken then must reveal that to your doctor, as he might be able to come up with a plan to develop better habits for you.

You’re consuming over-the-counter products

It is often embarrassing to confess to your doctor about your intake of over-the-counter supplements, medicine or vitamins prescribed by some other physician. However, to avoid any dangerous interactions between the prescribed medication and the additional supplements, one should always be clear to their doctor about what they’re other medicines they are taking.

You’re trying to lose weight by crash dieting

Even if you are in good shape, extreme dieting has terrible health effects even if you just follow it for a couple of days. Crash dieting can make you go dehydrated, and it can also throw off your electrolyte balance, which further harms the heart and kidneys. Diets which have a low-calorie content may also cause a deficiency of micronutrients, like magnesium and vitamin D. Instead of crash dieting, one should talk to their doctor about a better weight-loss plan. Or even if you’ve decided to do it, you should at least once refer to your doctor to ensure it’s safe.

The inspiration for this article has been taken from Health Plus Section, a source of credible health information by Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Singapore.

A guest post by Susan Smith.

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