Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
While you may initially consult your family physician, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist — a doctor who specializes in arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones — or an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in metabolic disorders.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important, in case time runs out. For osteomalacia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- Do I need any tests?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Do I need to make any changes to my diet or lifestyle?
- Am I at risk of any long-term complications from this condition?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow more time to go over additional questions you may have. Your doctor may ask:
- What are your symptoms, and when did you first notice them?
- Where is your pain located?
- Are any areas tender to the touch?
- Is your pain constant or does it come and go?
- Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
- What medications, vitamins and supplements do you use?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- Have you ever had gastric bypass surgery?
- What treatments have you tried so far, if any? Has anything helped?
- Bhan A, et al. Osteomalacia as a result of vitamin D deficiency. Endocrinology Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2010;39:321.
- Rickets. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011.http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Rickets and osteomalacia. In: Kronenberg HM, et al. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-3/0/1555/0.html#. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Menkes CJ. Diagnosis and treatment of osteomalacia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Rickets and hypervitaminosis D. In: Kliegman RM. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. NGC. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=13540. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Binkley N, et al. Low vitamin D status: Definition, prevalence, consequences, and correction. Endocrinology Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2010;39:287.
- Menkes CJ. Clinical manifestations and etiology of osteomalacia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 4, 2011.