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Honesty is Your Best Health Policy

A little white lie may help you back out of a dinner date, "but concealing information from your physician can affect your medical treatment," says Alex Foxman, M.D., an internist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Three things to confess:


Taking supplements

YOU RISK A
possibly dangerous
interaction with
other medications.
Even seemingly
harmless herbs or
minerals like
echinacea or zinc
may counteract
the effects of
certain prescription
meds, such as
corticosteroids used
to treat asthma.

How stressed out you are

YOU RISK Missing
out on an important
mental-health
chat. "Many
patients don't think
to bring up upsetting
situations or
stressful events to
their doctors," says
Foxman. "But
these feelings can
be early warning
signs of depression
or anxiety."

Smoking

YOU RISK A too-lax
examination.
"Cigarettes raise
your risk for so
many conditions,
from heart disease
to cervical cancer,"
says Foxman. "So if
your doctor knows
that you smoke,
or used to smoke,
he'll pay more
attention to certain
symptoms, like high
blood pressure."

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