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Talking to Your Doctor About Viral Hepatitis
General Tips for Gathering Information
- 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.
- Do not be afraid to ask your 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
- What type of hepatitis do I have?
- Is it possible to have more than one type of hepatitis?
- How might I have contracted hepatitis?
- What medications, dietary supplements, or herbal preparations should I avoid that may worsen hepatitis?
- Are there other substances I should avoid?
- What can I do to avoid passing hepatitis on to other people?
- What are some of the short-term and long-term complications of hepatitis?
- What symptoms should I watch out for and should I report?
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for hepatitis?
- How do I best prevent hepatitis?
- Does my job put me at risk for hepatitis?
- What can I do to decrease my risk for hepatitis?
- Should I be vaccinated?
- Should I be screened for hepatitis?
- How often should I be screened if I do not have any symptoms?
- How do I best treat hepatitis?
What medication options are available to help me?
- What are the benefits and side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over the counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
- Is it safe for me to have a baby?
- What kind of protection should my sexual partner and I use?
- Are there habits I should develop in order to avoid passing hepatitis to others?
- Why do I need to avoid alcohol? How do I find help to stop drinking?
- Should I exercise?
- When will I stop feeling so tired?
- Will my hepatitis go away?
- Will it become a chronic problem?
- Will I develop long-term liver problems?
- Will I develop liver cancer?
- Will I need a liver transplant?
- How will I know that my treatment program is effective?
- Am I now immune to hepatitis viruses?
- What types of hepatitis viruses am I now immune to?
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 02/2017
- Update Date: 03/15/2015