1. Your surgical history
When you first see a new doctor because you switched jobs and or relocated to a new town, you’ll be filling out tons of medical forms.
A biggie in the long slew of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ checkboxes refers to your surgical history.
From minor procedures to major operations, US plastic surgeon Dr David Shafer says being honest about your past will help alleviate complications in your future.
Though many of his surgeries are elective, every surgeon needs background info to minimise your risk for scar tissue, reactions and more.
“I always find it concerning when a patient tells me they have never had surgery, and when I examine them they have what are clearly facelift incisions,” he shares.
Surgeons have our lives in their hands, but most of us know more about the people who cut our hair than the doctors who cut our bodies.
2. Your age
As you begin to approach middle-age, start menopause or feel those aches and pains of getting older, you might be tempted to tell a little white lie about exactly what decade is on your birth certificate.
While it’s likely not a big deal to fudge the truth to a bartender, grocer or random stranger at networking event, your doctor needs to know the honest truth about everything, including how many candles were on your last birthday cake.
Not only is your age a crucial element to how they prescribe a treatment, but it’s information they’re going to find out, no matter what.
And lying about it? It could break that essential doctor-patient trust. “I know patients don’t like admitting their age, but it’s very important to be truthful,” Dr Shafer says.
“If a patient tells me they are 49 but they are 57, I have to wonder if the patient is lying about anything else.”
Heed these 5 tips to help yourself and others grow old healthily and independently.
3. What you eat
After trying to drop the unwanted kilos around your midsection without much success, you make an appointment to see your doc to figure out a game plan.
If you’re not being truthful about your habits, your doctor won’t be able to help much.
“Studies have shown that patients underestimate how much they are eating and how often they indulge in unhealthy food,” says Dr Tania Dempsey, an integrative doctor based in New York.
“Many patients don’t want to admit the difficulties they have with complying with the prescribed diet, so it is easier for them to deny that they are eating anything ‘bad’.”
Instead of feeling shameful for giving in to sweet cravings or not working out for a week (or several), explain what’s tripping you up so your doctor can give her best advice.
After all, since she doesn’t eat every meal with you she can only assist based on the info you share.
“If I think that the diet intervention isn’t working as expected, first I am going to question why, and then I might have to resort to more aggressive treatment options. If patients admit to their indiscretions, then doctors can work with the patient to develop strategies to keep their diet on track,” says Dr Dempsey.
Groundbreaking research shows how certain foods and lifestyle changes can deactivate the genes that cause us to store fat.