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Tips for Talking to Your Doctor

Posted Nov 10 2009 10:01pm
We've Moved! To better reflect the focus of our blog, we have a new name (and a new home) – Food Allergy Living at www.foodallergyliving.net . At the new address, you'll still be able to find blog entries from your favorite nutrition specialists twice a week. But you’ll also find some new goodies that will be updated once a month and distributed to subscribers as a newsletter. You’ll be able to count on a new recipe every month, submit your own questions to the nutrition specialists and see some beautiful smiles in our Neocate Faces section.

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Talking to you doctor isn’t always easy, but it is an important part of getting good health care - especially when you are trying to figure out what is bothering your little one and get them quickly diagnosed and treated. You want to make sure you arrive for your visit prepared with the right information and ask plenty of questions. I wanted to share a few tips that can help you get ready for your next visit to the pediatrician, GI or allergist.
  1. Keep a diary of your little ones symptoms: what they are, when they started, how frequent and if certain foods or medicines make them worse.
  2. Make sure they know what different formulas and medicines you have already tried and what affect they had (i.e. did they make some symptoms better and others worse?).
  3. If there is a particular type of treatment (formula, medication) that you are interested in, bring information about it in case the doctor hasn’t heard of it. There are so many different options out there, and your doc may or may not be familiar with all of them.
  4. Make sure that you completely understand your doctor’s explanations and instructions for new treatments. I get so many questions from parents who don’t understand their doctor’s instructions about mixing formula or transitioning onto Neocate.
  5. Call ahead to see if there are any tests scheduled and how you need to prepare. For example, a lot of GI docs like to test stool samples so bringing one in with you can save some time in the waiting room!

Is there anything else that you have found helpful before visiting your doc? I know of some moms who have even taken videos and pictures so that their docs can get a better sense of their children’s symptoms. What worked for you?

-Nita
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