Are You Honest With Your Doctor?

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2015-03-30 14:27:02 -0500
Started 2015-03-24 09:46:08 -0500

When I journal, I always have to remind myself that leaving things out doesn't help me figure out things I need to work on. The same goes for our doctor visits. Do you find that you leave things out when you talk to your doctor? Sometimes we are eager to share all the good things we have done, but fail to include the struggles we are having. Our care team needs to know the things that are going on with us in order to help us find solutions.

Here is a great article on Honesty with our health care team.

""I have found it challenging, at times, to tell the truth to my endocrinologist.

“Exercise? Yes. I exercise. Nine times a day, I exercise.”

“I have no idea why I was high last Thursday. Or this morning, for that matter.”

“Counting carbs? Yep, I’m all over it.”

Interested in more than just my lab work, my endocrinologist asks me thoughtful questions about my family, my relationship with my husband, and life outside of the confines of my A1c result. So why, as an adult, have I had issues being honest with my endo about the diabetes problems I need real help solving, particularly in moments where I could have just ‘fessed up and saved my endo the effort of trying to find “a solution"?

In broader terms, what makes patients lie? And what makes them tell the truth? "

- See more at:

24 replies

Lakeland 2015-03-30 14:27:02 -0500 Report

My mom wants to please her doctors so she skips writing down all of her oops. I on the other hand know the rules for diabetes have changed over the years & I know that I can't eat fruit (something healthy) fruit will really spike my blood sugar numbers, so just tell the truth. I'll tell a doctor, to me a easter peanut butter egg has the same effect on my sugar numbers as an orange, so once you know how different things effect your blood sugars enjoy or the other & not both. it's all about choices and then throw a walk in and lower that number

Kgoldie 2015-03-30 10:44:46 -0500 Report

Perhaps it is the child-like desire to show how we are each "good." I don't think patients really intend to be dishonest. It is more of an attempt not to be seen in a negative light. And sometimes, patients don't think that certain facts are pertinent to tell their care providers. It's our job to educate patients about what is important and why.

connie1st 2015-03-28 01:31:59 -0500 Report

i saw a comment saying d1 is the real diabetes. type 2 is as real as 1. i have even been told i have 1.5 because my meds dont work for me and i do not make insulin from my why would someone bring themselves to say that.

GabbyPA 2015-03-28 10:47:47 -0500 Report

Sadly, there are still some that say type 2 is brought on by only external conditions and therefore preventable and our fault if we have it. They are both real and they are both life changing.

QueenJeanne 2015-03-25 08:31:42 -0500 Report

Living in the state of Ohio and having available to me The Ohio State University, I have truly been blessed to have very good doctors looking after me. When I went in to see the NP and I honestly told her that I went off my regiment for diabetes. I was eating things I had given up since I had diabetes, since March 2001, and I did not care because everything tasted so good. Now believe me I am working my way back on track, but I am treating myself every week with something that I like so I do not go off track like that again. My BS was 7.4, which is truly not that bad, but I am working towards having it back down to 6.4 for the next visit. That's how honest I was with my doctor and NP when I went to see them in February.

Oh, by the way, the doctor and the NP asked me what took me so long to protest the diet. I told them since I have to see one of you two every three months it kept me on track, but this time I did not care and wanted to do what I wanted. They laughed at me hysterically and told me to return to my diet so that I can stay on the planet because I would be so missed by everyone.

GabbyPA 2015-03-25 08:48:34 -0500 Report

That is great. Doctors like that are wonderful and it helps a lot to look at things with humor. I'm glad they want you on the planet.

frog1951 2015-03-24 22:01:17 -0500 Report

It is not my honesty - I do not go to a doctor - I am forced to see a NP - he will not listen to me - I am highly honest to him but he refuses to listen to me - he only hears himself - I have even asked to see the doctor - the doctor showed up only to be so up in the clouds - he did not hear anything either - I have looked for another group but every endo in town has joined this group after ACA/Obamacare and I can't find anyone else so I am stuck with this arrogant group of idiots. Having a bunch of degrees does not make you smart or intelligent it only means they had money and time to go to school. I am so over doctors that think they are so important and want to be God - I am so over the one's that don't want to help but only want to think they are great. I am over this horrid disease and the fact that these idiots that have all this arrogance could help if they would let go of their stupidity and actually realize they are stupid - they only memorize and not analyze they have no clue how to cure - they only know how to read a book - they never know how to really do anything but read a book - not a patient…Find a cure not another treatment - and for once - DOCTOR BE HONEST WITH YOUR PATIENT - AS WE WORK HARD TO DO WHAT WE CAN - WE ARE IN THIS TO LIVE - AT LEAST I AM. BEING A DOCTOR SHOULD MEAN MORE THAN JUST MAKING A LOT OF MONEY - YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PATIENT - BUT I HAVE NOT SEEN THAT - TODAY IT IS A GREEDY BUSINESS WHERE THE PATIENT PAYS WITH THEIR LIVES.

GabbyPA 2015-03-25 07:33:17 -0500 Report

I hear your pain. My doctor started out okay, but as our relationship went on, he also became dismissive. Specially after I sought a second opinion because he just wouldn't help me.

I know there are good ones out there, I just have not found mine yet either.

Pegsy 2015-03-24 19:59:54 -0500 Report

I am completely honest with my doctor. I see no advantage to being dishonest. Unfortunately I sometimes think she is not entirely honest with me. She says what she thinks she needs to say to get me to accept or do what she wants. I don't like that. I feel that any decision needing to be made should be made by me and I should be FULLY informed regarding them. She also waffles on things. I am seriously considering another doctor. Not looking forward to the search.

jayabee52 2015-03-24 16:49:37 -0500 Report

Howdy Gabby
Thanks for this reminder.

If I omit anything during a Dr visit, it us usually not deliberate. Too often I would leave a Dr visit and think "OH, I shouldda told him this or that." I found that keeping a word processor doc on my computer like I replied to Caliko here ~ helps me a lot in that regard.

God's best to you

telle_quelle_vic 2015-03-24 15:35:29 -0500 Report

Well,I m honest,cause I know that s a responsibility and keeping some thing unsaid will harm me at first! The point is that I do a lot of things automatically and can forget some details or just do not pay too much attention to them,cause for me they are a routine life,not that special and interesting as for a doctor. And doctors,even though they are professionals and know all this huge topic,they will never understand and guess on their own about some little point,because they are healthy in terms of sugar and have no idea what do you really feel anyway.

GabbyPA 2015-03-25 07:36:27 -0500 Report

I used to go in with my questions all written down with spaces after each so I could write my doctor's reply. I sometimes get things mixed up by the time I would leave after asking multiple questions. But now, they don't have time. My clinic the doctors have a computer with codes and he spends his time on the key board, not talking to me. It's very disappointing.

GeekonBoard 2015-03-25 14:51:23 -0500 Report

I hear you on this point too!
I was at the doctor yesterday & I decided a couple of years ago that if I didn't write it down — I most likely was going to get sidetracked & forget to ask. Or, the nurse or doctor would start gathering information &/or telling me things & I — draw blanks. Whether it's having bits of a ADHD personality or just being overwhelmed - the list is a must for me.
But, like Gabby, the time limit with the doctors feels more like a sprint…decide which points are the most important & list them first. It's SO disappointing. I was speed talking to the point she told me to try & calm down cause my blood pressure check on the way in to my appointment was higher than normal. So, her asking me to stop talking & picture a calm place while she took a 2nd read was both good (it helped bring my # down), but also — I need to get through the things I wanted to address today. It's not like my list is that long… yada, yada, yada - I suppose it is what it is.
I've said before that at times I consider changing doctors but fear that it will either be the same or worse. Plus, I like my NP - not my actual PCP so much. I always make my appointments with her. She ordered another lab for an A1C & it was down again. I will possibly post something on this later when the reality sets in ;)

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-03-24 15:19:30 -0500 Report

I think the problem I had with doctors (before my current one who is wonderful) was that doctors JUDGE you…and you know they do…I remember a decade ago when I was doing atkins lost over 100 pounds and felt great…my doctor lambasted my choices and sacred the crap out of me…so when I was diagnosed with diabetes my doctor to me..was just the guy I had to see to measure MY progress and get my script from…there was zero trust..he wasn't my partner in my healthcare..he was the dude that tested my blood and gave me meds..thank god that has all changed..

GeekonBoard 2015-03-24 14:33:14 -0500 Report

GREAT share Gabby!!
I can relate with this one…I don't hold back with my doctor, therapist, etc…
But I have had the thought fluttering about my head when I've had a slip in eating unhealthy or not as healthy this or that… "what if I just left that out of my food journal?"
CONFESSION: should have had better thoughts when making the decision.
I'm thinking I might switch doctors after being diagnosed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her, but she's with the SETMA network & I feel like she's on a clock - rushing in & out. But, I have also heard the same complaints from others that aren't in such a network of doctors.
But, I'm getting off topic - have the attention span of… oh, look a butterfly!
I always wonder when I lay it all out there if they truly believe how bad I'm describing my thoughts to be. My food addiction is real - can listen to people talk about their thoughts & draw to drugs/alcohol & I think the same things.
I can share this - I know they hear me, but wonder —
Do they understand that pre diagnosis I could order $40-$60 of pizza & eat a vast majority of it in one sitting. I could make a drive through Taco Bell & drop $20.00 of food & take most of it out as well.
I'm incredibly grateful that I haven't done these activities since my diagnosis, but as I've told my doctor & therapist…at times, I feel like I'm white knuckling it & a thought away from a binge.
It's a scary thing —
The more work has picked up since January — the less time I've had to keep record in my food journal of every bite that enters my mouth. And, in that regard — I feel like that's a form of lying to myself. I was shocked to add up carbs & sodium of things I considered healthy food alternatives. While considerably more healthy choices from pre-diagnosis — salad w/ not measuring salad dressing was horrible. It's like something I knew, but seeing the numbers & knowing what my limits were set for —
So, I need to make better use of my time to write things down in my food journal to be more honest with myself.

GabbyPA 2015-03-25 07:48:44 -0500 Report

Food addiction is very real and sugar addiction is horrible. I struggle with both. When I lived alone it was the worst. I was busy, hard working and ate like a mad woman. I think getting doctors to understand where we came from before they have seen us is very hard.

I know I cannot rest on my past laurels, but it's good for them to understand that there is a huge struggle I face every time I step into a kitchen or stare into the pantry. For the most part, they are in control, but on days when I get upset or angry (after I clean the house in frustration) I often eat what I should not.

My journal saves me from times like that. At least if I do start to slip, I see in numbers what I am doing and it helps get me back on track. When I don't write it down, it "never happened" and ignorance is never bliss for me.

I used to take my journal with me to the doctor along with my glucose log. He didn't want to see either, he just goes by my labs. To me, that is like reading the cliff notes on War and Peace....really? So for a long time I quit journaling, but I am back on it and that honesty with myself is the best thing.

RebDee 2015-03-24 11:43:28 -0500 Report

I hate the new BS meter that I was given at Kaiser Permanente and do not use it. However, I do use my boyfriend, Sam's meter so when he does his, he does mine (those that play together stay together and those that meter together…blah, blah, blah). So therefore, I have nothing to bring to my Endocrinologist. Not a lie, just nothing to help her help me.

debcox 2015-03-24 10:58:23 -0500 Report

Great article, Gabby. Thanks for sharing. I only see my doctor once a year but I see my clinical pharmacist every other month and can call her for anything. I've asked her questions about what I'm dealing with and she has been great. I haven't felt the need to lie to her as I feel that she is there to help me not judge me.

GabbyPA 2015-03-25 07:52:10 -0500 Report

I love my pharmacist. She is so incredibly helpful. I think you are right about the "No Judgement Zone" with them. Many are eager to help. Mine has helped me with my meds way more than my doctor.

Jan8 2015-03-24 09:58:10 -0500 Report

If you can't be honest with your doc why go ???

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2015-03-24 11:37:57 -0500 Report

Jan I totally agree with you I read the article and I really don't care about this woman's experience. If she lied to her doctor she lied to herself and the only person she is hurting is herself.

Why are you wasting the doctors time if you are not going to be honest. The end result is that the patient who lies or hides the truth from the doctor is only hurting themselves.

GabbyPA 2015-03-24 10:08:25 -0500 Report

I think it can have a lot to do with the trust we have in our doctor. In the article it talks about the issues some patients feel with guilt and being judged instead of feeling the doctor is going to help them find solutions. Its a very good article.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2015-03-24 11:34:54 -0500 Report

If you have such low self esteem that you think you are being judged then someone needs some self esteem. You refer to "we" who are the "we" people?

The thing is that if a patient is not honest with his/her doctor why go? It is about doing what is best for one's own health and being a part of your own health care.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-03-25 19:55:59 -0500 Report

You CANT be honest with SOME doctors..and they do judge you..I have matured to the point where I don't really care about the judgement..but I still chose NOT to listen to the well meaning and ill informed lectures…so unless I am seeing my endo or a doctor who shares affiliation with him..I will keep my diet to myself…