Lying to your doctor

June 28, 2011 2:01:18 PM PDT
Have you ever lied to your doctor or stretched the truth a little bit? of so, turns out you are not alone.

Cardiologist Dr. Nieca Goldberg knows that despite their best intentions, patients sometimes lie when it comes to their health.

"They lie about how much they eat, how much they drink, how much they exercise," she said.

And this can be harmful to your health. So why do some people stretch the truth? Patient Dale Burg says she's afraid of being reprimanded for falling short of her goal to exercise more and eat a healthy diet.

"The moment that I'm saying it, I think it's true," she said. "But it might not turn out to be."

But omitting things or fibbing can make it harder for doctors to make a correct diagnosis, and it can lead to unnecessary tests or over-prescribing of medicine.

"Usually people don't intend to lie," Dr. Goldberg said. "They have concerns. Maybe they're scared about side effects of medicine. Maybe they don't know how to start an exercise program. Maybe they need extra help in terms of changing their diet."

So if you find that you have concerns like these, ask your health care provider for help. And if you fall short of your goals, just say so, because when it comes to your health, as with most things, honesty really is the best policy.