How To Prepare For Your Doctor's Appointment

You've made your doctor's appointment concerning persistent acid reflux symptoms. Now, a good way to truly benefit from this appointment is to be very well prepared. Below, are some of the steps that have helped me to prepare for my appointment with the gastroenterologist.

  • Educate yourself - As we all know, some doctors have a bad reputation for doing a poor job of explaining medical issues to their patients in "English". Before setting up your doctor's appointment, I recommend getting a head start by paying a visit to the search engines, and familiarize yourself with these terms and conditions:

    Acid reflux

    Food digestion
    lower esophageal sphincter (LES)

    Prescribed medications
    Herbal remedies
    Home remedies
    Homeopathic remedies

    Endoscopy (EGD)
    Barium Swallow Test
    Esophageal Acid Testing
    Stretta Procedure

    All of these terms are related to acid reflux. If you take the time to educate yourself, you'll be able to better understand what your doctor is telling you. You will also be able to ask some intelligent questions.

  • Prepare a list of questions - If you're at a lost as to what questions to ask, then here are the top 10 questions you can ask your doctor:

    1. How mild or severe is my condition?
    2. What lifestyle changes would be suitable for me?
    3. Is my condition mild enough to take over-the-counter medicines? If so, which ones?
    4. Do I need prescribed medication?
    5. What side effects are related to taking these medicines?
    6. If the treatments aren't working, then what is my next step?
    7. Do the test results show any signs of esophagitis or
      Barrett's esophagus?
    8. Do I need to be examined for esophageal cancer?
    9. How often should I take such examinations?
    10. Should I have surgery?

  • Start a log - Another thing I found beneficial for me was starting a log. I would write what symptoms I was experiencing, the foods I ate and the beverages I would drink. The days and nights I experienced such symptoms would also be in my log.

    I also kept a record of what eased my symptoms. Acid reflux symptoms has a mind of it's own, so you never know when it will strike. This is why I think it's a good idea to start your log at least one week before seeing your doctor. This way, you'll have enough time to experience an adequate amount of symptoms to provide your doctor.

  • Take notes - While visiting your doctor, take notes. Taking notes sounds like you're back in school (I know) but trust me, this will assist you with everything you need to better treat your symptoms.

These are just a few of the things you can do to help prepare for your doctor's appointment. I'm confident that taking these same steps will help you as well.

Even though it's pretty important to prepare for your appointment with your doctor, it's just as important to know what you should discuss during your appointment.

See Your Doctor | How To Prepare For Your Doctors Appointment
Discuss With Your Doctor | Diagnosing Acid Reflux

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