Doctors Reveal the Strangest Things Patients Tried to Keep Hidden

Have you ever debated whether or not you should go to the doctor for something “minor”? Have you ever lied to your doctor about a bad habit, or avoided asking them a question? You aren’t the only one. It’s pretty likely whatever you tried to keep secret isn’t even the strangest thing your doctor has ever seen.

These are the strangest — some, the most dangerous — things people have tried to hide from doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.

1. Mysterious stomach pain

Woman Has Stomach Ache

If it hurts, don’t hide it. |

Did you eat something you shouldn’t have? Consume a questionable cocktail of prescription drugs? One way or another, your doctor will find out. You’re not the first one who has swallowed something strange. Own up to your mistake sooner rather than later.

Next: Too stubborn to get that infection checked out? You’ll regret that.

2. That weird smell

Female feet standing on acupressure mat

Be aware of your body’s look, feel, and scent. | Sasha_Suzi/iStock/Getty Images

You could — and hopefully will — live your whole life never having to learn what an advanced skin infection smells like. People’s appendages have literally fallen off because of untreated infections like gangrene. Get it fixed before it’s too late.

Next: Your doctor won’t know there’s anything wrong with your bowels if you don’t speak up.

3. Poop stuff

Closeup photo of woman sitting on toilet and using toilet paper

Everyone poops, no need to be embarrassed! | Artfoliophoto/iStock/Getty Images

Feeling constipated, or have a related digestive issue you’re hesitant to bring up with your doctor? Don’t wait until you have to have 28 pounds of feces surgically removed from your intestines to mention something like this.

Next: I’m sorry, you said you ate what?

4. Questionable eating habits

impossible burger

Don’t be shy about disclosing how you eat. | Impossible Foods via Facebook

If you’re having any kind of stomach or other stomach issue, your doctor might ask you what you’ve been eating recently. Be honest — and not just about your love of burgers and french fries. Some people have a type of eating disorder that results in them consuming non-edible things, and they don’t even realize they’re doing anything out of the ordinary.

Next: Your doctor will ask a few follow-up questions if you show up in the ER like this.

5. Bullet holes

Gun with bullets

Some people may have a story or two to tell. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Guns aren’t meant to be played with. Unfortunately, people aren’t always willing to open up about how they ended up on the wrong end of one. There are plenty of people who claim to “accidentally” shoot themselves even though there’s secretly someone else to blame.

Next: You should probably tell someone about this.

6. Really big tumors

Surgeons with clean hands entering operating room

Doctors deal with things like this regularly. | Chris Ryan/Getty Images

What happens when you don’t tell your doctor you have a noticeable tumor? It just keeps growing. Even if a tumor isn’t cancerous, the bigger it gets, the more damage it can cause. This is not the kind of secret you want to keep from your physician.

Next: There are some things your doctor really does need to know about.

7. Heart surgery

Digital illustration of Human heart

Heart disease is more common than you might think. | Hywards/iStock/Getty Images

There’s a reason doctors ask you about your medical history before giving you any treatments. If it has anything to do with your body, they probably need to know. Especially if you have a history of heart disease or have had a heart surgery in the past. Don’t forget to tell them about that.

Next: Unfortunately, your “private” business is also your doctor’s business. Speak up.

8. Sex stuff


Don’t be shy, you’ll need to be honest with your doctor. | Grinvalds/iStock/Getty Images

Most of us are more than a little embarrassed when we have to talk about what we do behind closed doors. Just keep in mind that your doctor really has heard — and seen — it all. Be honest about how often you do it and whom you do it with — especially if there’s a related health problem.

Next: Be careful where you point that thing …

9. Accidentally taking a nail to the chest

nail in wood

Accidents happen | Royalty-free/iStock/Getty Images

Accidents happen. Everyone is entitled to one really dumb, self-inflicted accidental injury at some point in their lives. If you unintentionally injure yourself — such as accidentally shooting yourself in the chest with a nail gun — just be honest. You might laugh about it later. Maybe.

Next: Some people react to bad news in unexpected ways.

10. The adulterous aftermath

Couple kissing in bed

You’ll need to be upfront about this with your doctor. | Oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

There are consequences for every good and bad decision you will ever make. Cheating on your partner is no exception. More than one doctor has seen a patient in recovery after being run over by an angry spouse. Patients aren’t always honest about the reason that happened.

Next: Infections can happen anywhere. Be prepared.

11. Bad infections in embarrassing places

Emabarrased woman

It may make you giggle, but it may not be a joking matter. | Erikreis/iStock/Getty Images

Sometimes, bacteria invades your body and makes you miserable. This can basically happen anywhere on or inside you, even your most sacred territories. Do not try to pretend it isn’t happening. Chances are, your doctor can give you something to fix the issue before it becomes a much bigger problem.

Next: Be careful where you put that needle.

12. Self-acupuncture

acupuncture needles

Believe it or not, this has been done. | HansJoachim/iStock/Getty Images

Think you can perform treatments like acupuncture on yourself? You probably shouldn’t make the attempt. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up stabbing yourself with sharp objects, which makes for an interesting story to tell your triage nurse.

Next: Not all people living with addictions are hooked on drugs.

13. Strange addictions

Depressed woman

You should reveal even your darkest secrets to your doctor, when asked. | Marjan_Apostolovic/iStock/Getty Images

Mental health stigma convinces many ER visitors to lie about things they’ve done to unintentionally injure themselves. If you’re sick or hurt, and your doctor needs to know why, be honest — no matter how much you’re afraid of being judged.

Next: Desperate times call for extreme measures.

14. Inflicting pain for addictive substances

Pills in bottle

This addiction is a serious one. | Luchschen/iStock/Getty Images

Opioid addictions are no joking matter, but desperate users have gone to the (painful) extreme to acquire the strong medications they can’t get anywhere else. We’re talking sticking needles in places they don’t belong to appear visibly sick enough to get drugs.

Next: Your doctor went to school for a long time. They’re pretty smart.

15. Foreign objects that don’t belong up there

Doctor Using Ultrasound Scan On Abdomen Of Senior Male Patient

They’ll be able to easily find any foreign objects. | AndreyPopov/Getty Images

More people than you think show up in the emergency room ready to lie about how a variety of foreign objects ended up stuck up you-know-where. Technically, you don’t have to tell the doctor how it got there, but there’s really no point in trying to hide the truth. They already know.

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