Preparing for your appointment

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:

  • 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?
July 13, 2017
References
  1. Smith TJ, et al. Graves' disease. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016;375:1552.
  2. Graves' disease. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/graves-disease/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx. Accessed January 24, 2017.
  3. Longo DL, et al., eds. Disorders of the thyroid gland. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com/. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  4. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Endocrine disorders. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2017. 56th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  5. Davies TF. Pathogenesis of Graves' disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  6. Ross DS. Graves' hyperthyroidism in nonpregnant adults: Overview of treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  7. Ross DS, et al. 2016 American Thyroid Association guidelines for diagnosis and management of hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis. Thyroid. 2016;26:1343.
  8. Mayo CH. The surgical treatment of goiter. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 1904;XLII:1059.
  9. Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 21, 2017.