Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases, you may be referred immediately to a specialist. Doctors who specialize in treating hepatitis B include:

  • Doctors who treat digestive diseases (gastroenterologists)
  • Doctors who treat liver diseases (hepatologists)
  • Doctors who treat infectious diseases

What you can do

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

  • Be aware of pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
  • Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you take.
  • Consider taking a family member or friend along. Someone who accompanies you may help you remember the information you receive.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Listing questions for your doctor can help you make the most of your time together. For hepatitis B infection, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • Has the hepatitis B damaged my liver or caused other complications, such as kidney problems?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Should my family be tested for hepatitis B?
  • How can I protect people around me from hepatitis B?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Have you ever had a blood transfusion?
  • Do you inject drugs?
  • Have you had unprotected sex?
  • How many sexual partners have you had?
  • Have you been diagnosed with hepatitis?
Aug. 29, 2014

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