If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you must visit your rheumatologist. However, what is even more important is that you get the most out of your visit to your healthcare provider. Learn about some of the steps you can take to maximize your doctor's visit.
1. Bring a New Symptoms List
If your condition has started to surface in new ways, it is a good idea to bring along a list of new symptoms that you are experiencing. For example, as the disease progresses, people can start to experience changes in their sleeping habits, eating habits, and day-to-day functions. The more symptoms you provide, the better the doctor can pinpoint the cause.
2. Prepare a Journal
To accompany your symptoms list, you might also consider the idea of preparing a journal for the visit. For example, if you have been experiencing more frequent flare-ups, create a journal that lists the types of activities you have been engaging in as well as what type of foods you have eaten, as certain foods, such as candy and soda, can cause inflammation that triggers RA. Your provider can look over the journal to spot anything that stands out.
3. Do Not Be Ashamed to Ask Questions
Never feel like a question that you have is not a good one. This condition can affect each person differently, so while you may not have read or even heard about someone else dealing with the concern you have, it does not mean that your concern and your question is not valid. Remember, your provider is there to help you in any way possible.
4. Bring Someone with You
Sometimes, your rheumatologist can give you a lot of information quickly. If you worry about being overloaded or even forgetting what you have been told, do not hesitate to bring a close friend or family member with you. Remember, two sets of ears are always better than one, and the more helpful information you collect from the visit, the better your health can get.
5. Minimize Pain-Reducing Aids
If you are experiencing a flare-up, you may want to minimize the pain-reducing aids you take just before the appointment. If these aids are effective, you may walk into the visit and tell the doctor you are feeling fine even though it's only temporary. You want the rheumatologist to see the true effect the condition is having on you so that you receive the right type of treatment.
Make sure you keep these tips in mind to ensure that all of your care concerns are being met at your visit. To learn more, contact a rheumatologist.