We all know that not telling the truth is wrong, and it’ll certainly land you on Santa’s naughty list. However, lying to your health care provider could have much more dire consequences than you may realize.
“There are a lot of lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol use and different behaviors that can interfere with medications and cause adverse side effects if we aren’t aware of them,” Nicole Maddock, a nurse practitioner in our Lorain market, shares.
Still, there are several studies that show quite a few people avoid telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth when talking to their provider. Many aren’t honest about how often they exercise, what they’re eating and drinking, or other behaviors because they fear they’ll be judged.
However, Nicole does her best to reassure patients that she’s just there to help – not to make you feel bad.
“It’s very important to me to make the patient feel comfortable, let them know it’s a judgement-free zone, and allow them to be honest with what’s going on in their lives,” she says. “The goal for both me and them is to get them the best care possible.”
In order for your provider to properly treat you, they have to know the truth. Nicole says one of the most important things to not lie to your provider about is how regularly you’re taking your medications, especially if you have chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes. Providers often learn their patients haven’t been honest when the pharmacy sends over a report showing that half of the medications they’ve prescribed were never picked up.
“We make medication changes based on different diagnoses, and if you are not taking them as you say you are, we can’t determine if the medication is working or if you’re on the right course of treatment,” Nicole emphasizes. “This can end up being harmful to your health instead of being helpful.”
In addition to harming your health, keeping your provider in the dark could put a strain on your wallet.
“You’ll end up spending extra time and money on potential follow-up visits or even extra testing that may have to be done because it’s taking longer to catch something,” she shares. “You may even end up needing a more extensive treatment than if something would have been discovered earlier on.”
Nicole states that the first step toward having an honest relationship with your health care provider is finding the right fit for you.
“Making sure you have confidence in the provider you’re seeing is a huge first step, because if you have someone you’re comfortable talking with, it makes telling the truth much easier.”
By having an honest relationship with your health care provider, Nicole says it’s going to be much easier to find solutions to health conditions earlier and even help prevent other chronic and long-term health problems in the long run.
Are you in need of a primary care provider? We are here for you. Find a Mercy Health provider near you today.