Talking to Your Doctor About Lyme Disease
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with Lyme disease. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
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 ask questions that you have not thought to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or to learn where you can find more information about your condition. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Lyme disease
- What is Lyme disease?
- How do you get Lyme disease?
- What does a tick that carries Lyme disease look like?
- What should I do if I get a tick on me?
- How do I safely remove a tick if I find one?
- Can you test the tick to see if it carries Lyme disease?
About Your Risk for Developing Lyme Disease
- Based on my medical history and lifestyle, am I at risk for Lyme disease?
- How do I best prevent Lyme disease?
- How do I know if I might have Lyme disease?
- Is there a test for Lyme disease?
About Treatment Options
- How do I best treat Lyme disease?
- What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or ]]>dietary or herbal supplements]]> that I am already taking for other conditions?
- Will the medications cure me of the disease?
- Are there any ]]>alternative or complementary therapies]]> that will help me?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Can I continue my regular activities?
- What can I do to prevent being bitten by a tick?
- How do I know that my prevention or treatment program is effective?
- Once I am treated, can Lyme disease come back?
- Is Lyme disease contagious?
- Can I get it again if another tick bites me?
Frequently asked questions. American Lyme Disease Foundation website. Available at: http://www.aldf.com/faq.shtml . Accessed October 5, 2008.
Lyme disease. Lyme Disease Foundation website. Available at: http://www.lyme.org/otherdis/ld.html . Accessed October 5, 2008.
Lyme disease. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/lymeDisease/ . Accessed October 5, 2008.
Last reviewed August 2008 by ]]>David L. Horn, MD, FACP]]>
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 medical condition.
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