Get the most from doctor’s visit

get the most from doctors visit

Lower the stress and worry that sometimes are associated with doctor’s appointments by making sure your loved one has all the information he or she needs. This preparation is an important step toward becoming partners in healthcare.

  • Take all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbals supplements.
  • Write down questions.
  • Let the doctor know about new or increasing symptoms.
  • These may be treated with medication and diet adjustments before they become more serious:

    - Weakness/fatigue

    - Shortness of breath

    - Inability to exercise

    - Difficulty lying flat without extra pillows

    - Swelling in legs

    - Abdominal distention and bloating

    - Coughing or wheezing

    - Sudden weight gain

    - Nausea or lack of appetite

    Most of these symptoms are caused by excess fluid build-up. In heart failure, the body has difficulty ridding itself of salt and water.

  • Be ready to talk about lifestyle changes: Decrease salt intake, increase physical activity and lose weight.
  • Fluid restriction: Limit total fluid intake to two quarts (64 ounces or eight cups) per day to help keep the body from retaining fluid.
  • Sodium restriction: Limit total daily sodium (salt) intake based on the treatment plan to prevent fluid buildup.