General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don’t forget them. Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification if necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Metabolic Syndrome
What is metabolic syndrome? Am I at risk of developing metabolic syndrome? What should I do to avoid developing metabolic syndrome? Are there any medications to take to prevent or to treat metabolic syndrome? What are the complications of metabolic syndrome? What are the risk factors of metabolic syndrome? What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome? How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed? Is there any genetic influence which I should know about? Are my children at risk of metabolic syndrome? How is diagnosis made?
About Obesity and Weight Loss
What is my weight? Am I considered overweight or obese? Is my weight right for my height? What should my target weight be? What is my body mass index (BMI)? What does it mean to my health? Is there a different criteria to define obesity depending on my ethnic background? How is my waist size? Is the measurement significant to my health? What are the health risks associated with being overweight? How can I lose weight? Are there any weight loss programs you would recommend? Are there any medications I can take that would help me lose weight? Are there any support groups you could recommend to help me lose weight? Do you recommend that I see a specialist, such as an endocrinologist, to rule out any medical conditions that could be responsible for my excess weight? How often should I check my weight? What if I can’t lose all the weight I need to lose?
About Heart Disease
What is heart disease? How will having heart disease affect me? Can this condition be reversed or will it affect me for the rest of my life? Are there any restrictions on my activities if I have heart disease? How can I tell if the disease worsens? Are there any medications I can take to improve my condition? What lifestyle changes should I make? What are the warning signs for heart disease?
What is diabetes? How will having diabetes affect me? Why is it important for me to control? Will I have diabetes forever? Will I need to take insulin? Will I have to give myself shots? How often do I need to test my blood for sugar levels? Are there any medications I can take to treat or prevent diabetes? What are the side effects of these medications? What are the warning signs for diabetes? Which is more important in terms of predicting complications later on— the before meal blood sugar or the after meal blood sugar? What is “pre-diabetes”?
About Blood Pressure
What is my blood pressure? What is an optimal blood pressure for me? What is white coat hypertension? What is high blood pressure? How will having high blood pressure affect me? What can I do to lower my blood pressure? Are there any medications I can take to lower my blood pressure? What are the side effects of these medications? How often should I have my blood pressure checked? How does the salt in my diet affect my blood pressure? What are the warning signs for high blood pressure?
What is my cholesterol profile (LDL or “bad cholesterol,” HDL levels or “good cholesterol,” and their ratios)? Can you explain what the numbers from my cholesterol profile mean? What are the complications of unhealthy levels of cholesterol? How can I lower my cholesterol? Are there any medications that I can take to lower my cholesterol? What are the side effects of these medications? Will I have to take these medications for the rest of my life? What can I do, other than taking medications, to lower my cholesterol? How often should I have my cholesterol levels checked?
About Stroke Prevention
What is a stroke? Am I at risk for having a stroke? What are the warning signs for stroke?
About Lifestyle Changes
How much can I drink? Does it matter if I drink beer or hard liquor? Is red wine beneficial for me? If so, how much could I drink a week?
How can I quit? Do I have to quit cold turkey? Are there any programs you would recommend? Are there any medications I could take to help me quit smoking? How long do the effects of my cigarette smoking affect my body after I quit? Would cutting back on smoking (but not quitting) help? Will I gain weight if I stop smoking?
Is it safe for me to exercise? How often should I exercise? How long do you recommend I exercise? Is there any type of exercise you would recommend for me? Are there any types of physical activity that I should avoid? Do you recommend that I work with a physical trainer to improve my physical activity?
Healthy Eating Habits
Do you have any information about improving my eating habits? What type of foods should I avoid? What type of foods should I try to incorporate into my diet? Do you recommend that I meet with a specialist, such as a dietician, to improve my diet? Do you have any suggestions for how to cook my food? How do I read food labels? Should I avoid all sodas?
Last reviewed February 2009 by
David Juan, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a
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EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.