Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have diabetes and you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, call the doctor who normally helps manage your condition. If you haven't been diagnosed with diabetes, make an appointment with your primary care provider.

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how often they occur.
  • List your key medical information, including any other conditions for which you're being treated and the names of any medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
  • Log details about your recent diabetes management if you have diabetes. Notes for your doctor should include the timing and results of recent blood sugar tests, as well as the schedule on which you've been taking your medications, if any.
  • List your typical daily habits, including alcohol intake, meals and exercise routines.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor if you have diabetes include:

  • Are my signs and symptoms due to hypoglycemia?
  • What is most likely triggering my hypoglycemia?
  • Do I need to adjust my treatment plan?
  • Do I need to make any changes to my diet?
  • Do I need to make any changes to my exercise routine?
  • What else do you recommend to help me better manage my condition?

Questions to ask if you haven't been diagnosed with diabetes include:

  • Is hypoglycemia the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
  • What else might be causing these signs and symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What are the possible complications of this condition?
  • How is this condition treated?
  • What self-care steps, including lifestyle changes, can I take to help improve my signs and symptoms?
  • Should I see a specialist?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

A doctor who sees you for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia is likely to ask you a number of questions. The doctor may ask:

  • What are your signs and symptoms?
  • When did you first notice these signs and symptoms?
  • When do your signs and symptoms typically occur?
  • Does anything seem to provoke your signs and symptoms?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
  • What medications are you currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as vitamins and supplements?
  • What is your typical daily diet?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If yes, how much?
  • What is your typical exercise routine?

If you have diabetes, your doctor also may ask a number of detailed questions about your diabetes management. It will help to come to your appointment with a recent log of blood sugar test results, medication names and schedules and any changes you've noticed in the frequency or severity of diabetes-related symptoms.

Feb. 22, 2012