Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

Consider your drinking habits, taking an honest look at how often and how much you drink. Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible.

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you've had, including any that may seem unrelated to your drinking
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements that you're taking, and their doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Some questions to ask include:

  • Do you think I drink too much or show signs of problem drinking?
  • Do you think I need to cut back or quit drinking?
  • Do you think alcohol could be causing or worsening my other health problems?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the approach that you're suggesting?
  • Do I need any medical tests for underlying physical problems?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
  • Would it be helpful for me to meet with a professional experienced in alcohol treatment?

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Be ready to answer questions from your doctor, which may include:

  • How often and how much do you drink?
  • Do you have any family members with alcohol problems?
  • Do you sometimes drink more than you intend to drink?
  • Have relatives, friends or co-workers ever suggested you need to cut back or quit drinking?
  • Do you feel like you need to drink more than you previously did to get the same effect?
  • Have you tried to stop drinking? If so, was it difficult and did you have any withdrawal symptoms?
  • Have you had problems at school, at work or in your relationships that may be related to alcohol use?
  • Have there been times that you behaved in a dangerous, harmful or violent way when you were drinking?
  • Do you have any physical health problems, such as liver disease or diabetes?
  • Do you have any mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety?
  • Do you use recreational drugs?
July 25, 2015