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Talking to Your Doctor About Scleroderma
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.
- Don't 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
- Is it possible to determine which type of scleroderma I have?
- What kind of symptoms should I immediately call you about?
- What will my medications treat?
- How long will the medications you’ve prescribed take to work?
- How much improvement should I expect?
- What kinds of side effect should I expect?
- When should I call you about a side effect?
- Are there interactions between my medicines?
- Are there any new treatments for scleroderma?
- Do you recommend that I participate in a clinical trial?
- Are there any clinical trials from which I might benefit?
- Are there any herbal supplements or complementary or alternative therapies that can help me?
- Are there any activities that I should change?
- Can you recommend an appropriate exercise program?
- Should I make any changes to my diet?
- Can you recommend a program to help me stop smoking?
- What can I do to continue my usual activities and protect my hands and feet?
- What can I do to continue my usual activities and protect my skin?
- Are there local support groups I can join?
- How will it affect my life?
- Is it possible to predict the course my condition will follow?
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015