Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to first see your family doctor, who might refer you to a doctor who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones (rheumatologist) or to a doctor who specializes in disorders of the nervous system (neurologist).

What you can do

Make a list that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms and when they began
  • Information about medical problems you've had, and those of your parents or siblings
  • All the medications and dietary supplements you take and their doses
  • Questions to ask the doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For dermatomyositis, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • Are my symptoms likely to change over time?
  • What tests might I need? Are special preparations required?
  • Are treatments available for my condition? What treatments do you recommend?
  • I have other medical conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do you have brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor will likely ask you questions, such as:

  • Did your condition develop gradually or come on suddenly?
  • Are you easily fatigued during waking hours?
  • Does your condition limit your activities?
  • Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with a condition that affects the muscles?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
Aug. 01, 2017
  1. Dermatomyositis. The Myositis Association. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  2. Dermatomyositis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  3. Miller ML, et al. Clinical manifestations of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  4. Polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Merck Manual Professional Version. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  5. Dermatomyositis. Muscular Dystrophy Association. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  6. Miller ML. Initial treatment of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. Accessed April 23, 2017.