A question was recently posted asking “Should I tell my doctor I’m taking supplements”?

The article written by  Dr. Wendy Harpham  goes further in posing this question:

“What are Healthy Survivors to do if they want to go against their physicians’ medical advice and take dietary supplements?

I have no easy answer for the dilemma of wanting to take supplements against medical advice. Considering the consequences may lead you to answers that work for you.On one hand, telling the truth may affect the doctor-patient relationship adversely. Your physician may feel undervalued; you may feel embarrassed, self-conscious, doubting or other uncomfortable emotion.

On the other hand, keeping a secret means your physician does not have a piece of information that might be important in your care, making it impossible for your physicians to take optimal care of you. Secrets jeopardize the mutual trust that forms the basis of healing clinician-patient bonds.”

The fact is that disclosure of supplement usage is crucial. Many patients feel that supplements are not medications or drugs and therefore, informing the healthcare provider is not necessary.

In fact, supplements can interfere with any medications prescribed rendering them either useless or intensifying their reaction to create serious adverse reactions like abnormal bleeding or irregular heart beats.

Nondisclosure is not a question of trust. It is one where an individual can be seriously putting themselves in jeopardy.

Most physicians today welcome patient participation and complementary medicine. If a doctor-patient relationship will suffer over an issue like vitamins and supplements, it is time to find a doctor that is more attuned to the patient.

How have you approached this situation?