Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

First, you'll probably see your primary care physician. If you have diabetes, you may see your diabetes specialist (endocrinologist). However, you may be referred to a specialist in nerve disorders (neurologist).

You may need to see other specialists depending on the part of your body affected by neuropathy: for example, a cardiologist for problems with your blood pressure or heart rate, or a gastroenterologist for digestive difficulties.

Arrive at your appointment well-prepared. Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself and know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Ask about any restrictions before the appointment. Find out if you should do anything in advance, such as fasting before certain tests.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, even those that may seem unrelated to autonomic neuropathy.
  • Make a list of all medications (including over-the-counter), vitamins or supplements that you take.
  • Ask a family member or friend to come with you. Bring someone who can help you remember the information you and your doctor discuss. Family members can learn more about autonomic neuropathy if they attend appointments with you. For example, if you don't know when your blood pressure is too low, you may pass out (faint). Your family members will need to know what to do.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Since appointments can be short, prepare a list of questions before you go. Some basic questions to ask your doctor about autonomic neuropathy may include:

  • Why did I develop autonomic neuropathy?
  • Could anything else cause my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need? Will I need to do anything to prepare?
  • Is autonomic neuropathy temporary or chronic?
  • What are the available and recommended treatments for autonomic neuropathy?
  • What are the treatment side effects?
  • Are there any alternatives to the treatment that you're suggesting?
  • Is there anything I can do on my own to help manage autonomic neuropathy?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage those with autonomic neuropathy?
  • Do I need to follow a special diet?
  • Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Do you have any printed materials or recommended websites that you can share with me?

Don't hesitate to ask additional questions that may come up during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be prepared to answer these types of questions to allow more time for your own:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
June 06, 2015