Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Treatment of anorexia is generally done using a team approach that includes medical providers, mental health providers and dietitians, all with experience in eating disorders.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointments, and know what to expect from your doctor and other health providers.
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. If you can, try to recall when your symptoms began.
- 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 come with you, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. A family member may also be able to give your doctor a fuller picture of your home life.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor so that you'll remember to cover everything you wanted to.
Some potential questions you might want to ask your doctor or other health care provider include:
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing for me?
- Will my periods begin again?
- 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, don't hesitate to ask questions of any of your providers anytime that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor or other health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- How long have you been worried about your weight?
- Do you exercise? How often do you exercise?
- Have you found any other ways to lose weight?
- Are you having any physical symptoms?
- Have you ever vomited because you were uncomfortably full?
- Have others expressed concern that you're too thin?
- Do you think about food often?
- Do you ever eat in secret?
- Have any of your family members ever had symptoms of an eating disorder or have any been diagnosed with an eating disorder?
- Eating disorders. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM IV-TR. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://psychiatryonline.com/content.aspx?aID=3617. Accessed Oct. 19, 2011.
- Forman SF. Eating disorders: Epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical features. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2011.
- Walsh BT, et al. Eating disorders. In: Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9100636. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Anorexia nervosa. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/psychiatric_disorders/eating_disorders/anorexia_nervosa.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2011.
- Breuner CC. Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: Eating disorders. Pediatrics in Review. 2010;31;e75.
- Grave RD. Eating disorders: Progress and challenges. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 2011;22:153.
- Ranzenhofer LM, et al. Eating disorders. In: South-Paul JE, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8150394. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Murphy R, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy for eating disorders. Psychiatry Clinics of North America. 2010;33:611.
- Sim LA, et al. Family-based therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2004;79:1305.
- Forman, SF. Eating disorders: Treatment and outcome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2011.