Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Because limited scleroderma can affect so many different parts of your body, you may need to be seen by doctors in a variety of specialties, including:

  • Rheumatology, the treatment of arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders
  • Dermatology, the treatment of skin disorders
  • Pulmonology, the treatment of lung disorders

What you can do

You may want to write a list that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
  • Information about medical problems you've had
  • Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
  • All the medications and dietary supplements you take
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor

Since your time with your doctor is limited, preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For limited scleroderma, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • What self-care steps may help manage my symptoms?
  • Do I need to follow any restrictions?
  • How often will you see me for follow-up visits?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

What to expect from your doctor

During the physical exam, your doctor will look for changes in the texture, color and appearance of your skin. He or she may also ask:

  • What are you symptoms, and when did you first notice them?
  • How have your symptoms changed over time?
  • Are you having problems with heartburn?
  • Are you having trouble swallowing?
  • Are you experiencing extra fatigue or achiness?
  • Do your fingers change color when they get cold?
  • Have you lost weight without trying?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your bowel habits?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
  • What medications are you currently taking, including vitamins and supplements?
Jun. 02, 2011