You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating hormone disorders (endocrinologist).
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment, and to know 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 any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Ask a family member or friend to accompany you, if possible. He or she may remember something you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions may help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important. For hypoparathyroidism, 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 kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What treatments are available and which do you recommend?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- How can I best manage this condition with my other health conditions?
- Are there any dietary restrictions I need to follow?
- Do you have brochures or other printed material I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions that come up.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
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- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have you had any recent surgeries involving your neck?
- Have you received radiation therapy to your head or neck or for treatment of thyroid problems?
- Has anyone else in your family had similar symptoms?
- 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?
- Hypoparathyroidism. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/hypoparathyroidism.cfm. Accessed Jan. 27, 2011.
- Goltzman D. Treatment of hypocalcemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Fitzgerald PA. Endocrine disorders. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2011. 50th ed. Los Altos, Calif.: Lange Medical Publications; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=14198. Accessed Jan. 7, 2011.
- Disorders of calcium concentration. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec12/ch156/ch156g.html. Accessed Jan. 27, 2011.
- Shoback D. Hypoparathyroidism. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008;359:391.