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Monday, March 02 2015 @ 03:51 AM ICT

12 Things Women Don't Tell Their Doctors, But Should!

Health<img width="200" height="200" class="floatleft" src="" alt="" />Have you told your doctor that you smoke? Or that you woke up to pee thrice last night? Or that you hooked up with a cute stranger at a bar? Here, 12 reasons your physician needs to know these things.

According to a recent survey, more than 40 percent of women don't tell their doctors everything they should. Bad move that your doctor should be the first to know that you sometime pop an antidepressant, which you are thinking about starting a family, and even though it might be embarrassing to fess up your less-than-stellar smoking or drinking habits.

Why? Because it could save your life! Sometimes, women withhold information from their doctor then they downplay symptoms, keep mom about unhealthy habits, or just don't realize that certain lifestyle behaviors or changes are important enough to mention.

But your physician needs to know these things because they can give him a more accurate picture of your total health and make all the difference in your treatment and prescription. Talking about new symptoms or habits like stiffness in the knees or your recent taking to the cancer stick could also help your doctor link symptoms and alert her to other conditions that you might not even know you have.

Bottom line: speak up at your appointment! Here, the 12 most common omissions patents make and why discussing them with your doctor can be a real lifesaver!
1. Tell your doctor that you take supplements and herbal remedies.
We're very liberal and trusting when it comes to herbal supplements and solutions and don't think much before popping a couple. But even natural or alternative drugs can have dangerous interactions with your doctor's prescription and may produce erroneous lab results, raise certain levels, and interfere with the effectiveness of your medication. For instance, calcium may interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of a number of medications, including some used to treat osteoporosis blood pressure, and cholesterol.

An alternative herbal therapy for depression and stress has been found to significantly reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and may be harmful when used in combination with some anti-depressants and migraine treatment.

2. Tell your doctor that you noticed a change in a mole.
It's not like patients intentionally hide the fact that there have been some changes in their moles, they just don't think it's information that's worth bringing up. But if a mole changes size, shape, or colour, or a new one develops in adult life, it should be brought to the notice of your doctor. Mole changes indicate the presence of malignant melanoma, a cancerous growth occurring in pigment cells. An early detection of the irregularity could save your life.

To separate a normal mole from a melanoma, look for signs using the 'ABCD' rule: Asymmetry, where on half of the mole does not match the other; Border irregularity, ragged, blurred, or notched; Colour, where there may be differing shades of tan, brown, black, red, blue, or white over the mole; and Diameter, alert your doctor if a mole is larger than six millimeters, though lately, doctors are finding melanomas between three and six millimeters, too.

Keep in mind that some melanomas do not fit the 'ABCD' rule, so it's important that you stay alert for any unusual changes in your skin like sores that don't heal, lumps, blemishes, markings, changes in skin lesions, or any pigmented areas that look different from the rest of your moles. When in doubt, make an appointment with your doctor.

3. Tell your doctor that you want to get pregnant this year.
Sharing your baby-making plans with your doctor can ensure a healthy pregnancy. For instance, she may clue you into the fact that you need 400 micro grams of folic acid a day for three months before you even try to conceive (if you're low on folic acid, your baby is a risk for neural-tube birth effects like spina bifida).

Keeping your doctor in the know may also help her spot treatable causes of infertility, such as thyroid abnormalities, early on. Your MD can also determine whether you need to gain or lose a couple of kilos before getting pregnant, being 15 percent above your ideal weight increases the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, while being underweight can increase your risk of premature delivery.

<img width="200" height="200" class="floatright" src="" alt="" />4. Tell your doctor that you smoke even if it's just socially.
According to a recent online survey, the number one omitted item during a consultation with your doctor is smoking. But please do your health a big favour: skip the awkwardness and tell your doctor about your lighting-up habit. If your physician knows that you smoke, he'll be more alert for conditions like bronchitis or elevated blood pressure, which can occur even in younger women because the nicotine in cigarette smoke constricts your blood vessels. That part, some medication may not work, as effectively if you smoke tobacco, so your doctor definitely needs to be in the loop before he hands your any prescriptions.

By the way, this confession booth theory is applicable even if you smoke just a few cigarettes a month. That's because there really is no safe level of smoking cigarettes contain more than 50 cancer causing agents, and even limited exposure can cause cellular mutations that increase your risk of lung cancer.

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