Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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 your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time.
  • Write down any triggers to your symptoms, such as specific foods.
  • Write down key personal information, including a history of injury to your abdomen.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life. These factors can be connected to digestive signs and symptoms.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember things.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms?
  • Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • Is there a way for me to tell if my chest pain is being caused by an esophageal spasm, rather than another condition, such as a heart problem?
  • What kinds of tests do I need? How do I need to prepare for these tests?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What treatments are available?
  • What types of foods are likely to make my symptoms worse?

Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about your symptoms, such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms related to eating?
  • Does any particular food or type of food trigger your symptoms?
  • Do you experience symptoms of heartburn after eating, such as a burning sensation in your chest or an acid taste in your mouth?
  • Do you ever wake up during the night with heartburn, chest pain or an acid taste in your mouth?
  • Do you have difficulty swallowing food or have you had to change your diet to avoid difficulty swallowing?
Oct. 19, 2012

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