Doctor Question Checklist
There are certain questions that you need to have answered about your condition over the next 30 days. Whether you get the answers to these questions from your doctor or from another reputable health care professional, if you want to effectively lower your cholesterol, it is important that you understand the answers to the following questions:
- What exactly am I being treated being treated for and what is my condition and prognosis right now?
Never assume that high bad cholesterol is what you are being treated for primarily. Your doctor may be more worried about another condition that is related to high cholesterol - such as obesity, for example - and may be focusing on that in order to help you achieve health.
Understanding what you are being treated for can help you understand what you should be focusing on. Getting the exact numbers and figures related to your condition - such as the actual cholesterol levels - can also help you keep track of your progress as you make the change you need to make to become healthier.
- What are the details of the medications I am taking?
Get a list of the medications and treatments you are taking (including full names) as well as their risks, their side effects, and exactly how they should be taken. Ask about any ingredients or medications these drugs could react with, how these drugs should be taken (on an empty stomach, with food, or at specific times of the day?) and find out how the drugs should be stored.
Many pharmacies now provide complete print-outs that tell you all about the medications you are taking. It is well worth your while to seek out a pharmacy or pharmacist that can give you detailed information about your cholesterol-lowering drugs and can answer all your questions about your medications. Find out what you are supposed to do if you forget a dose or experience side effects.
- What symptoms should I be looking for that indicate that I should seek help right away?
Medication and treatments for high bad cholesterol carry risks, and having higher cholesterol carries its own risks as well. Knowing which symptoms indicate that you need to seek medical help fast - and knowing where to seek that help that help - can save your life. Write down the symptoms you need to stay alert for and carefully write down what you need to do if you experience specific symptoms. Review this until you know it.
- What are the steps I need to take to improve my condition?
Your doctor can recommend specific steps and instructions that you can follow to improve your health. Whether it is a specific diet or a special treatment, knowing what is expected of you is important. Write these down as goals to be met.
- What diet and exercise steps are right for me?
While a low-fat diet and moderate exercise can help lower cholesterol, your doctor can recommend specific routines that can address specific issues in your medical history. If you have diabetes or food allergies, for example, you doctor can help you determine exactly what exercise and diet plan may be right for you.
If you have illnesses such as diabetes or other health issues that may affect your diet and exercise, this is an especially important question to ask as you start making changes to lower your cholesterol.
- What amounts of sodium, fat, cholesterol, calories, and other elements should I be eating each day?
Based on your medical profile, your doctor can tell you exactly how much of what you should be eating, which can make it easier for you to tell what you should be eating - and in what portion sizes.
- Who else can I talk to and what other resources are open to me?
Most doctors are aware of lots of resources, including web sites, pamphlets, support groups, and other specialists that can help you lower your cholesterol and help you make the choices you need to make.
- Am I a candidate for other cholesterol treatments or for other tests?
Understanding which other treatments and tests may help you - in the future, if not right now - can help you see the options you have for treating your high cholesterol. Often, by getting your doctor to explain why you are getting specific medication, you can better understand your overall health situation.
- What are my most recent test results?
- Again, write these down so that you can see your progress and evaluate where your health is now.
- What’s next?
Before you leave your doctor’s office, you should always know what you should be doing next to improve your cholesterol levels and your health. Whether it is scheduling a follow-up appointment or waiting for the results of another test, make sure that you know what the next step of your treatment is.
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