You're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor, or in the case of severe symptoms, an emergency room doctor. You may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the heart (cardiologist) and possibly an infectious disease specialist.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what you might 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 recent illnesses, the symptoms you experienced then, and the length of recent past illnesses. If you've traveled recently, let your doctor know where you went and when you were there.
- Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking. Also, write down the dose you take.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you ensure you cover all of the points that are important to you. For myocarditis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- How is myocarditis treated?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Are there any complications I should be concerned about?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Do I need to restrict my activity in any way?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
May. 02, 2012
- When did you first begin experiencing these symptoms?
- Have you recently gotten over another illness?
- Have you traveled out of the country recently?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Kindermann I, et al. Update on myocarditis. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2012;59:779.
- Cooper LT. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of myocarditis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 14, 2012.
- Schultz JC, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of viral myocarditis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2009;84:1001.
- Schultheiss HP, et al. The management of myocarditis. European Heart Journal. 2011;32:2616.
- Allan CK, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of myocarditis in children. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 14, 2012.
- Cooper LT. Etiology and pathogenesis of myocarditis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 14, 2012.
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