Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have signs and symptoms of familial Mediterranean fever, you may begin by seeing your family doctor. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in inflammatory diseases (rheumatologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to arrive prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- 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 or supplements that you're taking.
- Consider taking a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. Questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What do you think is causing my or my child's symptoms?
- What caused this condition?
- What treatments are available?
- What are the possible side effects of treatment?
- Are there any other possible treatments?
- Are there any restrictions on activity?
- Should my other children be tested?
- If I want to have more children, can I protect them from the disease?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous, or do they come and go?
- How long do your symptoms last?
- What seems to trigger your symptoms, and what warning signs help you predict when they will occur?
- Is there anything you do to stop or lessen the severity of your symptoms?
- Do your symptoms seem to follow a pattern?
- Do you have blood relatives with familial Mediterranean fever?
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- Hashkes PJ, et al. Autoinflammatory syndromes. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2012;59:447.