• Talking to Your Doctor About Metabolic Syndrome

    General Tips for Gathering Information

    Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
    • 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 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

    About Metabolic Syndrome
    • What is metabolic syndrome?
    • Am I at risk of developing metabolic syndrome?
    • What should I do to avoid developing metabolic syndrome?
    • Are there any medications to take to prevent or to treat metabolic syndrome?
    • What are the complications of metabolic syndrome?
    • What are the risk factors of metabolic syndrome?
    • Are there symptoms of metabolic syndrome?
    • How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed?
    • Is there any genetic influence which I should know about?
    • Are my children at risk of metabolic syndrome? How is diagnosis made?
    About Obesity and Weight Loss
    • What is my weight? Am I considered overweight or obese?
    • Is my weight right for my height?
    • What should my target weight be?
    • What is my body mass index (BMI)? What does it mean to my health?
    • Is there a different criteria to define obesity depending on my ethnic background?
    • What is my waist size? Is the measurement significant to my health?
    • What are the health risks associated with being overweight?
    • How can I lose weight?
    • Are there any weight loss programs you would recommend?
    • Are there any medications I can take that would help me lose weight?
    • Are there any support groups you could recommend to help me lose weight?
    • Do you recommend that I see a specialist, such as an endocrinologist, to rule out any medical conditions that could be responsible for my excess weight?
    • How often should I check my weight?
    • What if I cannot lose all the weight I need to lose?
    About Heart Disease
    • What is heart disease?
    • How will having heart disease affect me?
    • Can this condition be reversed or will it affect me for the rest of my life?
    • Are there any restrictions on my activities if I have heart disease?
    • How can I tell if the disease worsens?
    • Are there any medications I can take to improve my condition?
    • What lifestyle changes should I make?
    • What are the warning signs for heart disease?
    About Diabetes
    • What is diabetes?
    • How will having diabetes affect me? Why is it important for me to control?
    • Will I have diabetes forever?
    • Will I need to take insulin? Will I have to give myself shots?
    • How often do I need to test my blood for sugar levels?
    • Are there any medications I can take to treat or prevent diabetes?
    • What are the side effects of these medications?
    • What are the warning signs for diabetes?
    • Which is more important in terms of predicting complications later on— the before meal blood sugar or the after meal blood sugar?
    • What is prediabetes?
    About Blood Pressure
    • What is my blood pressure?
    • What is an optimal blood pressure for me?
    • What is white coat hypertension?
    • What is high blood pressure?
    • How will having high blood pressure affect me?
    • What can I do to lower my blood pressure?
    • Are there any medications I can take to lower my blood pressure?
    • What are the side effects of these medications?
    • How often should I have my blood pressure checked?
    • How does the salt in my diet affect my blood pressure?
    • What are the warning signs for high blood pressure?
    About Cholesterol
    • What is my cholesterol profile?
    • Can you explain what the numbers from my cholesterol profile mean?
    • What are the complications of unhealthy levels of cholesterol?
    • How can I lower my cholesterol?
    • Are there any medications that I can take to lower my cholesterol?
    • What are the side effects of these medications?
    • Will I have to take these medications for the rest of my life?
    • What can I do, other than taking medications, to lower my cholesterol?
    • How often should I have my cholesterol levels checked?
    About Stroke Prevention
    • What is a stroke?
    • Am I at risk for having a stroke?
    • What are the warning signs for stroke?
    About Lifestyle Changes
    Alcohol
    • How much should I drink?
    • Does it matter if I drink beer or hard liquor?
    • Is red wine beneficial for me? If so, how much could I drink a week?
    Smoking
    • How can I quit?
    • Do I have to quit cold turkey?
    • Are there any programs you would recommend?
    • Are there any medications I could take to help me quit smoking?
    • How long do the effects of my cigarette smoking affect my body after I quit?
    • Would cutting back on smoking (but not quitting) help?
    • Will I gain weight if I stop smoking?
    Physical Activity
    • Is it safe for me to exercise?
    • How often should I exercise? How long do you recommend I exercise?
    • Is there any type of exercise you would recommend for me?
    • Are there any types of physical activity that I should avoid?
    • Do you recommend that I work with a physical trainer to improve my physical activity?
    Healthy Eating Habits
    • Do you have any information about improving my eating habits?
    • What type of foods should I avoid?
    • What type of foods should I try to incorporate into my diet?
    • Do you recommend that I meet with a specialist, such as a dietician, to improve my diet?
    • Do you have any suggestions for how to cook my food?
    • How do I read food labels?
    • Should I avoid all sodas?

    References

    Communicating with healthcare professionals. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/ReachOut/CommunicatingwithHealthcareProfessionals/Communicating-with-Healthcare-Professionals%5FUCM%5F301843%5FArticle.jsp. Updated February 23, 2012. Accessed February 22, 2013.

    Diabetes: Questions to ask your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/diabetes/questions-to-ask-your-doctor.html. Updated January 2010. Accessed February 22, 2013.

    High cholesterol: Questions to ask your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/high-cholesterol/questions-to-ask-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed February 22, 2013.

    Metabolic syndrome: Questions to ask your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/questions-to-ask-your-doctor.html. Updated March 2010. Accessed February 22, 2013.

    Prediabetes: Questions to ask your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/questions-to-ask-your-doctor.html. Updated January 2011. Accessed February 22, 2013.

    Questions to ask your doctor about blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/questions-to-ask-your-doctor.html. Updated June 7, 2012. Accessed February 22, 2013.

    Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed February 22, 2013.

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