Making the Most of Your Doctor’s Visits

So you are worried that your child may have celiac disease.  What’s next?

If you are concerned that your child may have celiac disease, the next step is to discuss this concern with your primary care provider.  Most physicians have the same goal as most parents: they want the best for your child, which includes an accurate diagnosis.  Here are some tips from a physician’s perspective about how to make the most of your visit:

  • State your concerns.  Doctors aren’t mind readers.  So if you are worried your child has celiac disease, just tell them!
  • Write a list of symptoms or problems that you want to discuss and bring it to the visit so you can make sure all of your concerns will be addressed.
  • Think about how you can communicate information in an organized and coherent way.    Most doctors’ time is limited, so the more concisely you can express the symptoms, the more information can be communicated.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to discuss any gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, including details about bowel movements, gas, etc.  I often joke that I have such a glamorous profession since I talk about these things all day long!
  • Consider bringing another adult to the visit (for example, a spouse, grandparent or friend).  It is really easy to miss information, so it is good to have a extra set of ears.  Also if your child needs attention during the visit, an extra set of hands helps, so you can listen to the doctor.
  • If you don’t think your needs are being met, consider getting a second opinion, either by another primary care provider, or see a pediatric GI specialist.

doctor visit

Nothing’s worse than getting back home and recalling all the questions you didn’t remember to ask your physician.  Use the above measures each time, and I believe you will find your visits to the doctor more reassuring, rewarding, and informative.  Best of luck!

For more on Celiac Disease check out: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!

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