6 Things You Should Always Tell Your Family Doctor

Health & Medical Articles

Coming clean with your family doctor about a variety of issues can help keep you healthy, but many people fail to do so out of embarrassment or a wish for optimal privacy. However, your doctor can't provide you with the best possible care if he or she doesn't have the whole picture. Following are six things you should always tell your family doctor.

How Much You Drink or Smoke

Many people are not exactly forthcoming concerning the amount of alcohol or tobacco they consume when discussing the subject with their doctor. However, it's important for your physician to know this so that he or she does not prescribe medications that may interact with alcohol or nicotine. Alcohol and drug interactions are widely known, but what you may not realize is that some drugs can also adversely interact with nicotine, including Prozac, Adderall, Flexeril, and Xanax. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe effective medication designed to help you break the addiction to alcohol or nicotine if that's a factor in your life. Keep in mind that even moderate or occasional usage can result in dangerous interactions with both over-the-counter and prescription medications.

If You Use Controlled Substances

Just like you may be tempted to seriously downplay any alcohol and nicotine use your doctor may ask about, you might also choose not to reveal any controlled substance use. Keep in mind, however, that these can also result in interactions with prescription drugs that may be harmful or even fatal. Although your doctor isn't there to judge you, he or she may offer resources and support for overcoming addiction to controlled substances. If you doctor does, however, behave in a judgmental, non-compassionate manner as a result of any disclosure on your part, that may be a sign that it's time for you to find a new primary care physician. 

If You've Stopped Taking Prescribed Medication 

Another thing that some patents may be reluctant to tell their family doctor is that they've stopped taking prescribed medication. If you have done this, always tell your doctor when and why you stopped. If you stopped taking prescription medication because of unpleasant side effects, your doctor may be able to prescribe a substitute that doesn't produce the same reaction. 

The Types and Amounts of Any Supplements or Over-the-Counter Medication You Take

Over-the-counter formulas and nutritional supplements can also interact adversely with prescription medication as well as with each other. Giving your doctor a comprehensive list of everything that you take gives him or her the chance to check for those that may interact adversely with others. For instance, St. John's Wort, an herbal remedy commonly taken for anxiety disorders and for help falling asleep, interacts adversely with a number of medications, including prescription and OTC allergy drugs, antidepressants, some types of birth control pills, immune system boosters, and drugs used to treat HIV.

Significant Family History of Specific Conditions 

If you have a significant family history of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, or other conditions where heredity may be a part of the picture, be sure to let your family doctor know. He or she will then be able to provide proper screening to ensure that these conditions are caught early -- keep in mind that the earlier most diseases are diagnosed, the better they respond to treatment. 

Issues You May Be Experiencing With Sexual Performance

Talking with your doctor about any issues you may be having with sexual performance is something that many people find embarrassing. However, your doctor has probably heard it all. Sexual dysfunction may be an underlying symptom of more serious disorders, so this is information your doctor needs to have in order to form an accurate diagnosis. 

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23 June 2017

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