You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases, you may be referred immediately to a doctor who specializes in hormonal disorders (endocrinologist).
It's good to prepare for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do to prepare for diagnostic tests.
- Write down the symptoms you're experiencing. Your doctor will want to know about anything that is causing you discomfort or concern, such as headaches, vision changes or discomfort in your hands, even if those symptoms seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any changes in your sex life or, if you're a woman, in your menstrual cycle.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Take along old photographs that your doctor can use to compare against your appearance today. Your doctor will likely be interested in photos from 10 years ago through the present.
- Take along a family member or friend, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you miss or forget.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For acromegaly, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests do I need?
- What treatments are available for this condition? Which approach do you recommend?
- How long will I need treatment before my symptoms improve?
- With treatment, will I go back to looking and feeling as I did before I developed symptoms of acromegaly?
- Will I have long-term complications from this condition?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- What symptoms are you experiencing, and when did they appear?
- Have you noticed any changes in how you feel or how you look? Has your sex life changed? How are you sleeping? Do you have headaches or joint pain, or has your vision changed? Have you noticed excessive sweating?
- Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- How much would you say your features have changed over time? Do you have old pictures I can use for comparison?
- Do your old shoes and rings still fit? If not, how much has their fit changed over time?
- Have you had colon cancer screening?
Jan. 16, 2016
- AskMayoExpert. Acromegaly and gigantism. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Melmed S. Causes and clinical manifestations of acromegaly. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
- Acromegaly. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/acromegaly/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
- Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Diseases of the hypothalamus & pituitary gland. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015. 54th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
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- Nippoldt, TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 23, 2015.