By Heather Doyle
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Whether it’s out of embarrassment, fear of being judged or simple ignorance, plenty of patients lie to their doctors.
“My injury isn’t sex related.”
“I don’t smoke that much.”
“These are the only medications I take.”
Whether it’s out of embarrassment, fear of being judged or simple ignorance, plenty of patients lie to their doctors. What a patient believes to be a simple fib, however, could be downright dangerous to their health.
Here are a few statements Long Island doctors wish their patients would stop saying in their office.
-This is not a sex injury.
“Patients often lie about medical conditions or diagnoses that arise during private or embarrassing situations, especially anything sexually related,” said Dr. Sanjey Gupta, vice chairman of emergency medicine at LIJ Medical Center.
“When patients lie, even if we confront them, it is difficult to provide them the proper care or to help ensure them a safe discharge,” he said.
These situations can be worse when an ailment was caused by abuse, Gupta says. In these cases, the patient may not only be misdiagnosed and mistreated, but also return to a dangerous environment.
-I don’t take any supplements.
Vitamins and supplements, which aren’t regulated by the FDA, can skew test results and impact a doctor’s diagnosis, according to Dr. Sunil Sood, chairman of pediatrics and an infectious disease specialist at Southside Hospital.
Many herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications “have active compounds that may interfere with the medications that we are attempting to prescribe,” said Gupta.
-Neither do my kids.
While accounting for supplements is important for treating adults, the issue is particularly important when it comes to diagnoses for children.
“Parents are unwittingly hiding something from us” because they “think it’s normal,” said Sood. “They don’t mention the vitamins, probiotics or supplements when they list the medications their children are taking.”