Updated: August 26, 2011

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 Apossibly dangerousinteraction withother medications.Even seeminglyharmless herbs orminerals likeechinacea or zincmay counteractthe effects ofcertain prescriptionmeds, such ascorticosteroids usedto treat asthma.

How stressed out you are

YOU RISK Missingout on an importantmental-healthchat. "Manypatients don't thinkto bring up upsettingsituations orstressful events totheir doctors," saysFoxman. "Butthese feelings canbe early warningsigns of depressionor anxiety."

Smoking

YOU RISK A too-laxexamination."Cigarettes raiseyour risk for somany conditions,from heart diseaseto cervical cancer,"says Foxman. "So ifyour doctor knowsthat you smoke,or used to smoke,he'll pay moreattention to certainsymptoms, like highblood pressure."

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