Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. You may then be referred to a doctor trained in nervous system disorders (neurologist).

Here's information to help you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting for a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to your reason for scheduling the appointment
  • Key personal information, including recent stresses or major life changes, family medical history and alcohol use
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For peripheral neuropathy, basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • Are there alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do I need to restrict activities?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can take? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Do you have health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease?
  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Does anyone in your family have symptoms similar to yours?
July 07, 2016
References
  1. Peripheral neuropathy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm. Accessed April 2, 2016.
  2. What is peripheral neuropathy. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. https://www.foundationforpn.org/what-is-peripheral-neuropathy/. Accessed April 2, 2016.
  3. Rutkove SB. Overview of polyneuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 2, 2016.
  4. Feldman EL, et al. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2016.
  5. Riggin ER. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 2, 2016.