Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You'll likely see your family doctor or your child's pediatrician for this condition, although you may be referred to a kidney specialist (nephrologist) if kidney complications develop. Here's some information that may help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down all symptoms and how long they've been present — even those that seem unrelated to the rash. When all three major indicators of Henoch-Schonlein purpura — rash, joint pain and abdominal pain — are present, the diagnosis isn't difficult. If the only symptom is rash, however, diagnosis can be challenging.
- Make a list of all medications, including vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter drugs, that you or your child is taking. Even better, take the original bottles and a written list of the dosages and directions.
- Write down questions that you want to ask your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to speak up when you don't understand something your doctor says. Start with the problems that concern you most. If you run out of time, ask to speak with a nurse or physician's assistant, or leave a message for your doctor.
Questions you may want to ask include:
- What might be causing these symptoms?
- What tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- Is this condition temporary or chronic?
- How will I know if there is kidney damage? What if it turns up later on?
- How is Henoch-Schonlein purpura treated?
- What are the side effects of treatment?
- Do you have any literature on this condition? Is there a website you can recommend where I can learn more?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask a number of questions, such as:
- When did these symptoms first start?
- Did they come on suddenly or gradually?
- What did the rash look like when it first started?
- Is the rash painful? Does it itch?
- Were you or your child sick before the rash started?
- Do you or your child have other symptoms, such as stomach pain or joint aches?
- What medications do you take?
- McCarthy HJ, et al. Clinical practice: Diagnosis and management of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. European Journal of Pediatrics. 2010;169:643.
- Dedeoglu F, et al. Management of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 2, 2010.
- Dedeoglu F, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Sept. 7, 2010.
- Gedalia A, et al. Systemic vasculitis in childhood. Current Rheumatology Reports. 2009;11:402.
- Henoch-Schonlein purpura. Vasculitis Foundation. http://www.vasculitisfoundation.org/HenochSchonleinpurpura. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Henoch-Schonlein Purpura. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/HSP. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Niaudet P, et al. Renal manifestations of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.