Talking to Your Doctor About Lipid Disorders
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- What is my total cholesterol?
- What are my LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol), and triglyceride levels?
- What is my ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol? What does this mean?
- What should my lipid levels be?
- How will my lipid levels affect my risk for heart disease?
- How does my medical history, lifestyle, and family background affect my risk of having a lipid disorder?
- Can I stop a lipid disorder from developing?
Will I have to take medication?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
- Will I need to take these medications indefinitely?
- Can I take fish oil supplements and/or niacin?
Should I engage in exercise?
- What type of exercise is best?
- How much should I be exercising?
- How do I get started with an exercise program?
Should I change my diet?
- Should I meet with a dietitian?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
- How can I find help to quit smoking?
- Do I need to lose weight? If so, how much? Any suggestions on going about it?
- If I change my lifestyle habits, will I still need to take medication?
- How will I know if the medication is working?
- How will I know if my cholesterol and triglycerides are staying within healthy limits?
- How often will you monitor my lipid levels?
- If reduce my cholesterol numbers, can I stop taking medication?
Communicating with healthcare professionals. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/ReachOut/CommunicatingwithHealthcareProfessionals/Communicating-with-Healthcare-Professionals%5FUCM%5F301843%5FArticle.jsp. Updated February 23, 2012. Accessed January 13, 2014.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed January 13, 2014.
- Reviewer: Mike Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/09/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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