Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you suspect that you have a vitamin deficiency anemia, you're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders (hematologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
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.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your 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. For vitamin deficiency anemia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- Are there any alternatives to the approach that you're suggesting?
- I have another health condition. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any foods I need to add to my diet?
- Are there any brochures or other 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 anytime that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Are you a vegetarian?
- How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you usually eat in a day?
- Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often, and how many drinks do you usually have?
- Are you a smoker?
- Antony AC. Megaloblastic anemias. In: Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Pernicious anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/prnanmia/prnanmia_all.html. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Zile M, et al. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). 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. Accessed Jan. 27, 2011.
- Mason JB. Vitamins, trace minerals and other micronutrients. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Jan. 27, 2011.
- Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended intakes for individuals, vitamins. Institute of Medicine. http://iom.edu/en/Global/News%20Announcements/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRISummaryListing2.ashx. Accessed Jan. 28, 2011.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed Jan. 28, 2011.