Half-truth: "I don't have digestive issues."

Truth: You experience embarrassing intestinal trouble, such as gas, bloating or constipation on a regular basis.

Description: "I don't have digestive issues."

"I don't have digestive issues."

Consequences: More women than men suffer from gastrointestinal distress and when it comes to irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, characterised by chronic constipation and/or diarrhoea) 70 percent of sufferers are female. IBS is one condition that can often be controlled with dietary changes. Switching up what you're eating could also make a huge difference if you suffer from coeliac disease (an adverse reaction to gluten) or lactose intolerance (difficulty digesting milk). Sometimes these symptoms also warrant testing for more serious underlying conditions. Bloating, for instance, could signal ovarian cancer; persistent stomach cramps could indicate an autoimmune disorder like Crohn's disease; and blood in the stool is a possible sign of colon cancer.

Half-truth: "I practise safe sex."

Truth: You sometimes skip condoms and have even been treated for a sexually transmitted disease (STD) before.

Description: Half-truth: "I practise safe sex."

Half-truth: "I practise safe sex."

Consequences: Aspects of your sexual history, including the number of partners you've had and having an STD in your past, are among the top things women routinely lie about to their physicians. But hiding your previous and/or current sexual behaviours can be dangerous. Left untreated, STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility and human papillomavirus (HPV) can turn into cervical cancer - which kills 208 Australian women a year. (In good news the incidence of cervical cancer in Australian women aged 20 to 69 has almost halved since the introduction of a national screening program in 1991. The Cancer Council estimates screening saves more than 1,200 women from developing cervical cancer each year so ask your doctor for advice on this.) Promptly addressing STDs can also help you avoid the fallout. You don't have to divulge the exact number of people you've slept with if you're feeling shy. But if you've had even one new partner since your last exam, ask to be screened. Make sure to mention any STDs you may have been treated for in the past too, as it can affect your care. For example, if you're having trouble getting pregnant or are experiencing painful cramping, your doctor should know to check for internal scar tissue that an infection could have left behind.

Half-truth: "I'm not taking any medications."

Truth: You pop vitamins and herbal supplements without giving them much thought.

Description: Half-truth: "I'm not taking any medications."

Half-truth: "I'm not taking any medications."

Consequences: "When we ask patients, 'What drugs are you taking?' they don't list herbs because they don't think of them as powerful," says Filer, "but they can be" So you may be trying out biotin for strong hair and nails like your mum recommends, the acai that your gym buddy loves for weight loss or the kava your sister swears is as relaxing as a glass of wine, without understanding the impact they could have on your body.

For example, herbs such as kava and comfrey can damage your liver, while Vitamin E can cause bruising and bleeding. And if you mix supplements with medication, you could end up making them weaker or stronger. If you combine St John's Wort with an antidepressant, for instance, the effects could be magnified, notes Filer. Meanwhile, a multi with Vitamin K, which increases blood clotting, could interfere with blood thinners.

Hard to keep track of ? Definitely! But that's why you should talk to your doctor - about this and everything else that pertains to your body, your mind and your life. Remember, when it comes to managing your health, there's no such thing as too much information!

Diagnosis: broke

Sometimes the most mortifying thing to admit is that money is tight. In fact, finances and work are among the biggest stressors and can increase the risk of many health complaints.

Description: Diagnosis: broke

finances and work are among the biggest stressors and can increase the risk of many health complaints

One study has found that being financially strapped led people to delay check-ups with their doctors or recommended treatments. If a lack of cash is messing with your health, speak up. Many doctors will set up billing plans so you can pay fees over time. You can also ask for a generic version of medicines you need and inquire about free samples. Your doc may just handsome over.


Percentage of women who overestimate their height, according to research from the University of Utah

Description: Percentage of women who overestimate their height

Percentage of women who overestimate their height

That can throw off your perceived body mass index, which in turn could confuse your doc about health risks. So, ask your doctor to measure your height. You may be surprised.

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