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Things your doctor needs to know

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ATLANTA -

When it comes to talking to doctors, a lot of us aren't exactly shooting straight.  In fact, one survey found that almost 30 percent of patients admit to lying to their physician.  So, how much does your doctor really need to know?

In a world where doctors seem rushed and you're out of your comfort zone, having a heart-to-heart with your physician isn't always easy.  But WebMD and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta pediatrician Dr. Hansa Bhargava says being able to shoot straight, even about the embarrassing symptoms, is really important.

Dr. Bhargava says the more information you can give your doctor, the better.  Dr. Bhargava says you should be specific about what your symptoms are, and how long you've been having them.  A lot of people get in the exam room, get nervous, and go blank.

"So, I often advise my patients to write down questions before they go in to see the doctor, even the waiting room, so then you won't have the, ‘Ugh!  I forgot that question!  I really wanted to talk to the doctor about that,'" Bhargava suggests.  

And tell your doctor what medications you're taking, including vitamins and supplements.

"The risks really are that a lot of these medications help you, but some of them have side effects," Bhargava said.  "And if the doctor doesn't know that you're on something because you're scared to tell them, or are concerned about it, then you won't get the best care."

If you're not taking your medication, your doctor needs to know that, too.  Dr. Bhargava says that new symptom that's kind of embarrassing probably isn't new to your doctor.

"And sometimes it really helps to tell them, you know, ‘It's okay to talk to me about this, I've heard all of it before, there's not much you can tell me that you haven't heard before,'" Bhargava said.  

If you don't understand why your doctor is recommending a certain medication or treatment, don't be afraid to ask why.  You should also ask about common side effects because if you don't understand why you're taking a medicine, you're not very likely to use it.

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