Just like with any other condition, it’s important that you keep an open line of communication with your doctor if you have hypoparathyroidism. This is the key to successful treatment. There are many steps you can take in order to create a good relationship with your doctor. It’s important that you learn how to do this as it will help you work with your doctor and have a say in your hypoparathyroidism treatment.
What Information Should You Bring to Your Hypoparathyroidism Appointments?
When you visit your doctor, you’ll want to make sure they have the most up-to-date information about you. It’s important to bring all relevant information with you so that you can provide them with it in a simple manner. Sometimes it’s hard to remember it all, so it’s smart to organize files or notes before the day of your appointment.
Bring a list of all the medications you’re on. This includes medicines that you take for hypoparathyroidism as well as other medications. Write down the name and dose of each prescription drug, over-the-counter medicine, supplement, vitamin, or herbal medication you take.
You’ll also want to write down any life changes that have happened since the last time you saw this doctor. This might include hospitalizations, medical emergencies, any new conditions, large changes in your weight, changes in physical activity, shifts in your diet, alcohol or tobacco use, or any other important information.
Collect your medical history, especially if this is your first appointment with this specific doctor. If you can, jot down some notes to help you follow along. This can also help your doctor and save you both some time.
Bring notes about your family’s medical history if it’s hard for you to remember it. Your doctor might want to know more about your relatives’ health so that they can evaluate your hypoparathyroidism with a better scope.
How Can You Track Your Hypoparathyroidism Symptoms?
To fully understand how hypoparathyroidism affects your body, you’ll want to make sure your doctor knows about all of your symptoms. Your symptoms are clues to how your hypoparathyroidism affects your body. If your doctor can track them and understand how they change, they’ll be able to adjust your treatment plan to fit your needs.
Update your doctor whenever your symptoms change or if you develop new ones. Just because people with hypoparathyroidism may have similar symptoms, that doesn’t mean your doctor will know how you feel all the time. The only way for them to understand is if you keep them updated.
It might help to write down your symptoms. You might also want to write down when they started, when they happen, how long they last, and if they’ve seemed to get better or worse.
What Questions Should You Ask Your Doctor About Hypoparathyroidism?
Make a list of questions before your appointment. Organize them from the most important to the least important. This way, if your appointment ends before you finish the list, at least you’ll have asked the questions that mean the most.
Some good examples of questions to ask at your hypoparathyroidism appointment include:
- What causes hypoparathyroidism?
- What are the treatment options for my condition?
- Are there any risk factors to treatment options?
- Why did I develop hypoparathyroidism?
- What symptoms should I watch out for?
- Can a person avoid hypoparathyroidism?
- What does my quality of life with the condition look like?
- Can I get pregnant with hypoparathyroidism?
- Are there any complications with hypoparathyroidism?
- How is this condition similar to or unlike other thyroid conditions?
What Should You Do If You Struggle With Hypoparathyroidism Treatment?
If your hypoparathyroidism treatment doesn’t work to control your condition, tell your doctor as soon as possible. They can help you find one that works better.
When you start a new treatment, don’t forget to report back about how well or how poorly it’s helped your hypoparathyroidism. Tell them about any challenges you face from treatment. If your plan works well, tell your doctor that as well. Your medical team will use this information to track how your condition and your treatment affects you.
What Other Things Should You Bring to Your Appointment?
To keep the line of communication open between you and your hypoparathyroidism care team, you’ll want to remember what your doctor said at your appointment. Bring a paper and pen or a phone that can take notes. Write down any important information or follow-up tasks you need to complete.
You can also bring a tape recorder to record your appointment if that’s easier. To help even further, a friend or family member can also come with you to help you remember to ask questions or remember what the doctor said.
Write down any information about your treatments, your doctor's suggestions, when to schedule any follow-up appointments, or any future appointment dates.
Photo Credit: Natalia Gdovskaia / Getty Images
National Institutes of Health: “Talking With Your Doctor Worksheets,” What Do I Need to Tell the Doctor?”
UCSF Health: “Communicating with Your Doctor.”
Parathyroid UK: “A Patient Guide to Hypoparathyroidism.”
Mayo Clinic: “Hypoparathyroidism.”