Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. Then you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in hormonal disorders (endocrinologist).

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

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any changes from normal, when they began and how long they last
  • Key personal information, including major stresses, recent life changes and family medical history
  • All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you get.

For a pheochromocytoma, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's likely causing my symptoms?
  • Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:

  • Have your symptoms been continuous or intermittent?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to bring on or worsen your symptoms?
  • Have you been diagnosed with other medical conditions? If so, what treatment are you getting?
April 21, 2017
References
  1. Pheochromocytoma. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/adrenal-disorders/pheochromocytoma. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
  2. Young WF. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. http://www.uptodate.come/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
  3. Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma treatment (PDQ®) — Patient version. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/types/pheochromocytoma/patient/pheochromocytoma-treatment-pdq. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
  4. Young WF. Treatment of pheochromocytoma in adults. http://www.uptodate.come/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
  5. 5 common food-drug interactions. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/preventing-illness/common-food-drug-interactions. Accessed Dec. 9, 2016.
  6. Health threats from high blood pressure. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/WhyBloodPressureMatters/Health-Threats-From-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002051_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 9, 2016.