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Asthma – Preparing for your Appointment

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When you begin suffering from more severe attacks of asthma, the best thing to do is to consult your general practitioner or family doctor.  After assessing your condition, your GP or physician may refer you to either a pulmonologist or an allergist. Time limitations to your appointment may require you to be well prepared to get the most information possible for your condition. Listed below are relevant information to make you well prepared as well as the things that you can expect from your physician.

To be properly prepared and make the most out of your appointment time you can:

  • List down all questions to ask your doctor
  • Bring a friend or a member of your family to your appointment. The saying two heads are better than one applies here and a close companion can help you remember all the information you may have missed giving your doctor and to remember all the information the doctor has given during the appointment.
  • List down all the supplements, vitamins and medications you are presently taking
  • List down all relevant information in your personal life especially the recent changes in your life and the things that you consider are major stress factors in your life
  • List down the time of day when symptoms are at their worst. You may also write down the seasons when your asthma worsens or what factors or allergens trigger your asthma attacks
  • Jot down all the symptoms related and even unrelated to your asthma particularly the symptoms that compelled you to go to your doctor in the first place.

If you’ve printed these lists or have good or easily readable penmanship you can submit them to do your doctor. If you have questions you can ask your doctor and have written them down, you can submit these to your doctor for him to read or read them yourself in front of him during your appointment. Some practical questions you can ask your doctor can include:

  • Will I still be able to indulge in my favorite or regular activities with my asthma?
  • What do you think is the best treatment plan for my asthma?
  • Can my asthma be cured?
  • Will my asthma get better or get worse as I get older? Will I ever outgrow?
  • What are the long-term consequences of my asthma?
  • Will my treatment plan help get rid of my more serious symptoms?
  • Can I be treated without medications?
  • What medication do I need? How does it work?
  • How frequent and long should I need to use the medication?
  • What are the medication’s side effects? What are the most severe side effects of taking this medication? What side effects will require me to stop taking it?
  • What risks are involved if I don’t follow directions in taking or forget taking my medication?
  • Is this drug habit-forming?
  • Is it safe to take it on an empty stomach?
  • Will this drug interact with the other drugs medication I’m presently using?
  • Should I avoid herbal supplements, other drugs, vitamins, alcohol and other drinks and specific foods when taking this medication?
  • Will this medication aggravate my other health conditions?
  • Can you recommend any alternative or complementary therapies I can try?
  • Is acupuncture a great alternative treatment for my asthma?
  • Are massage therapies or chiropractic good therapies for my asthma?
  • Can you suggest certain natural supplements and herbs for my asthma?
  • What changes in my lifestyle can help reduce the risks of asthma attacks?
  • What kinds of food can I eat that will help prevent my asthma attacks?
  • Can I exercise when I have asthma?
  • Can you recommend any websites, magazines or books that can help me gain more information about asthma?

What to expect from your doctor

Before performing a physical exam and certain diagnostic tests, the doctor will ask certain questions about you and your asthma problem. Some questions may force you to think about the answer for some time. Take your time and try to answer all the doctor’s questions as truthfully as possible. Some of the questions your doctor may ask can include:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When was the first time you noticed these symptoms?
  • What symptoms are the most severe to you?
  • Do you often have difficulty in breathing or only during certain circumstances or at specific times of day and night?
  • What allergies do you have? Do you have hay fever or atopic dermatitis (among others)
  • Are there things that exacerbate your asthma symptoms?
  • Are there things that help improve your asthma?
  • Does you family have a history of asthma or allergy?
  • Are you suffering from any chronic medical condition?

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac. is a Board Certified and Licensed Acupuncturist in Cleveland, OH.

Written by Valerie

October 18th, 2013 at 2:09 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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