You'll probably see your primary care physician first. You may be referred to a specialist in disorders of hormone function and the endocrine system (endocrinologist). If you have Graves' ophthalmopathy, your doctor may also recommend that you see a doctor who specializes in disorders of the eyes (ophthalmologist).
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 family medical history, and any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking. Make note of the dosage of each.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For Graves' disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long-lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Where can I find more information on Graves' disease?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be prepared to answer the following:
Jul. 01, 2014
- When did you first notice your symptoms?
- Do you have symptoms all the time or do they come and go?
- Have you recently started a new medication?
- Have you experienced rapid or unintended weight loss? How much have you lost?
- Have you observed any change in your menstrual cycle?
- Have you experienced any sexual dysfunction?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
- Bartalena L. Diagnosis and management of Graves disease: A global overview. Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 2013;9:724.
- Graves' disease. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/graves/index.aspx. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Falgarone G, et al. Role of emotional stress in the pathophysiology of Graves' disease. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2013;168:R13.
- Ross DS. Treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Genovese BM, et al. What is the best definitive treatment for Graves' disease? A systematic review of the existing literature. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2013;20:660.
- Mayo CH. The surgical treatment of goiter. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 1904;XLII:1059.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 3, 2014.
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