Preparing for your appointment

Make an appointment with your primary care doctor if you have prolonged fatigue or other signs or symptoms that worry you. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders (hematologist), the heart (cardiologist) or the digestive system (gastroenterologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having and for how long
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses, implanted medical devices, exposure to toxins or chemicals, and recent life changes
  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

For anemia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • Is my anemia likely temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do I need to follow any dietary restrictions?
  • Do I need to add any foods to my diet? How often do I need to eat these foods?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed materials I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you begin having these symptoms?
  • Do your symptoms come and go or are they constant?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Are you a vegetarian?
  • How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you usually eat in a day?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often, and how many drinks do you usually have?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Have you recently donated blood more than once?