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?
July 14, 2017
- Dermatomyositis. The Myositis Association. http://www.myositis.org/learn-about-myositis/types-of-myositis/dermatomyositis. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Dermatomyositis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Dermatomyositis-Information-Pagel. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Miller ML, et al. Clinical manifestations of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/autoimmune-rheumatic-disorders/polymyositis-and-dermatomyositis. Accessed April 25, 2017.
- Dermatomyositis. Muscular Dystrophy Association. https://www.mda.org/disease/dermatomyositis. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Miller ML. Initial treatment of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.