When you are sick or getting a checkup from your doctor, it is easy to let something you may have noticed or had a question about slip your mind. Some people might also feel uncomfortable asking their physician a question because they are worried that they will sound silly or even stupid. In order to offer you the best possible care though, your doctor has to know what is going on.
Besides which, no question is dumb. Most doctors want to answer your questions. After all, that’s why they became doctors. They like caring for people and part of that care is based on good communication.
What to Tell Your Doctor During an Exam
First, you should never try to hide anything from your doctor. Tell your doctor about any medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take. Even over-the-counter medications and common herbal supplements can have an effect on the efficacy of medications prescribed by your doctor. For example, taking Saint John’s wort, a commonly used natural antidepressant, can interact with certain heart medications with potentially lethal results.
Next, be sure to tell your physician about any unusual or sudden symptoms such as headaches, strange rashes, a dramatic increase or decrease in weight, changes in appetite, or the way foods taste or smell. Make sure to tell your doctor if you are feeling tired all the time, more irritable, or are not sleeping well. Additionally, make sure to show any moles or changes to your breasts such as itchiness, a discharge or dimpling of the skin.
Talk to your doctor about pain or difficulty moving, as well as joint stiffness and other symptoms. Many people feel that they are complaining or just don’t tolerate pain well, but your doctor needs to know how to help you, and knowing your levels of discomfort is part of that care.
Talk to your doctor if you have traveled out of the country or expect to do so soon. Make sure you are up to date on vaccinations and things like flu shots. If your doctor prescribes a medication, it is okay to ask about it. Make sure you understand what you are taking and the possible side effects, why you are taking it, and how to take it properly.
You should also tell your doctor about any close family members that have been diagnosed with diseases that tend to run in families, such as ovarian or breast cancer, diabetes, or early onset dementia. If you think you may forget something, write it down and take the list with you, or send it to your smartphone for easy retrieval.
Remember that your doctor is on your side and wants what is best for you. If you or a loved one needs an exam or has a question about any disease, injury, or disorder, please call Intercoastal Medical Group today, or request an appointment online with one of our highly qualified caring physicians. At Intercoastal Medical Group, we care about your life.