You're likely to start by seeing your primary physician. However, in some cases, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases or a doctor who specializes in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (gastroenterologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any recent travel, especially to other countries or to large recreational swimming areas or water parks.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. For cryptosporidiosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need, if any?
- What treatments are available and which do you recommend?
- Are there any dietary restrictions that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- Does anything make your symptoms worse?
- Have you been swimming recently?
- Have you traveled out of the country recently?
What you can do in the meantime
While you're waiting to see your doctor, make sure to stay well-hydrated.
Jan. 02, 2014
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- Leder K, et al. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Cryptosporidiosis: Prevention & control. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/prevention.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2013.
- Greenberger NJ, et al., eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Endoscopy. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=55955421. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Shirley DT, et al. Burden of disease from cryptosporidiosis. Current Opinion in Infectious Disease. 2012;25:555.
- Leder K, et al. Treatment and prevention of cryptosporidiosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.