When you schedule a doctor appointment, there are some things you should avoid doing in the hours before your visit. This is especially true if you’re having blood work or other tests done. What you eat drink, and even put on your body can affect the results.
We’ve already looked at some of the things you should do before your doctor appointment, so now let’s look at some things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t: Take Cold Medicine Before a Sick Visit (If You Can)
Your doctor may want to evaluate your symptoms without the effects of medication. Some medications may raise blood pressure, and your physician may not be able to tell if the medication or the illness is causing the increase
But if you’re really in need of some relief, go ahead and take something. Your doctor wants you to feel better and will rely on you to describe your symptoms. But definitely let the doctor know which medications you’re taking.
Don’t: Eat a Large High-Fat Meal Before a Blood Test
If you’re getting blood work done, you may want to lay off the high-fat meal. Your blood sugar and certain fats in the blood called triglycerides can go up after you eat. You want your physician to get an accurate picture of your health.
Typically, you’re asked to fast before a blood test, especially if your cholesterol or other fats will be checked. So you might not have a choice.
Don’t: Use Deodorant Before a Mammogram
Mammograms are nerve-wracking enough. Now you can’t even protect against sweating!
Mammography advises women to skip deodorant/antiperspirant or powders on the day of the mammogram because many deodorants and powders contain aluminum. Aluminum on mammography looks similar to breast calcifications and could be read as a false positive.
You should also avoid using other things under your arms or around your breasts like:
They all contain metallic particles that could be visible on your mammogram.
Don’t: Cancel Your Gyno if You Have Your Period
Although you might be grossed out by your period, your doctor won’t be. Any tests you have with your period should be fine. The standard liquid Pap smear tests can be done even when a woman is menstruating, so no need to reschedule. If you do feel more comfortable rescheduling, go right ahead, but medically there is no reason to do it.
Don’t: Eat Red Food Before a Colonoscopy
Red or purple food can actually color your colon, so lay off the red velvet cake. Red and purple will mask the lining of the colon and may affect the outcome of your colonoscopy. Iron can also stain the walls of the colon and cause constipation. This is something you want to avoid before a colonoscopy. Your colon will have to be completely clean for a successful study.
Stop taking iron a week before your colonoscopy. Other things that can be hard to clean out are high-fiber foods like raw fruits and vegetables, corn and beans, so try to avoid them three days prior to the procedure.
There are lots of things you can do (and in this case shouldn’t do) before a doctor’s appointment. Following this advice can help relieve anxiety and help to make sure you get all of the information you need from your visit.
You can use the same approach when it comes time to visit your cardiologist. Check out our list of “9 Things To Do Before Visiting Your Cardiologist.” Our free checklist will remind you of what documentation you may need and provide you information on lab test results.