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Lying to your doctor

Published:Monday | March 15, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sacha Walters, Staff Reporter

Being honest with your doctor is a logical thing to do, but when many women are faced with some lifestyle questions they lie in an effort to not be chastised for unhealthy behaviour.

According to General Practitioner Dr James E. Peart, honesty is always the best bet.

"Most times, doctors are not fools, we'll do the tests anyway," he said. However, lying can sometimes delay proper treatment.

Lies you shouldn't tell your doctor:

I do not smoke.

"If the patient has a certain type of cough and is over the age of 45, you might not send them to do a chest X-ray," he said, if they tell you they don't smoke. However, there might be underlying complications being caused by smoking.

"They could be delaying you sending them for that X-ray," he said.

"They should also tell their doctor if they are smoking marijuana or smoking crack," as these, as well as other narcotics, can cause various complications.

I've never had an STD or I'm having protected sex.

"You won't readily test them for certain diseases," Dr Peart said. But it would save them the discomfort of say genital warts as you can prescribe medication for their flare-ups.

I'm taking my medication the way you prescribed it. For example not consuming alcohol while taking certain medications.

Having alcohol with certain drugs: "This can exacerbate the effects of the drugs," he said. For instance drugs which contain sedatives may cause you to be extra drowsy and sleep for hours. Others can have the opposite effect, making your heart race.

I'm not a big drinker.

"It's to their detriment because we won't look for liver damage. We won't know to do a liver function test," he said.

"I'm monogamous".

If a person has an ailment which can be transmitted sexually, if that person has more than one partner, reinfection will just become a cycle.

"You need to know if you have to treat more than one partner," he emphasised. "So we treat one person and their partner and they just keep getting reinfected, because partner three or four is not being treated."