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Talking to Your Doctor
Talking openly and honestly with your doctor is important because some symptoms of lupus may indicate something more serious, such as possible organ damage.
Every Symptom Matters
You can help control your symptoms by getting involved in your treatment and care. Visit your doctor regularly, and learn about lupus.
Remember, the more direct you are, the more likely you are to get the best care possible.
Your doctor may be very knowledgeable about lupus, but only you are the expert on how you feel. Be as specific as you can when describing your symptoms.
Tell your doctor about every symptom and concern you have—even those you think might not be associated with lupus. And don’t be shy about bringing up issues that you may find sensitive or difficult to talk about, such as intimacy.
There may be a genetic factor involved in lupus. Find out if any members of your family (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) have been diagnosed with lupus. If they have, tell your doctor as much as you can about their condition. Include details such as how old they were when they were diagnosed, and what kind of lupus they were diagnosed with.
Follow your doctor’s instructions. It’s important to work together with your doctor to develop a management plan that’s right for you.
If a routine isn't working for you, or if you're having trouble sticking to a management plan, tell your doctor. Together, you may be able to find a different solution that suits you better.
Tell your doctor the truth about how well you’ve been following his or her advice. If your goal was to exercise three times a week, but you only managed once every two weeks, be sure to report this. You and your doctor may want to reevaluate your goals.
It's essential that you and your doctor agree on how to deal with your condition. Make sure that your doctor listens to you, and confirm that he or she understands your concerns. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or to have your doctor repeat information or explain something in a different way.
Use the tools on Us in Lupus to help facilitate conversations with members of your healthcare team:
- can help you better understand some of the terms your doctor uses.
- The Lupus Checklist can help you record and document symptoms and other changes to your health.
- The Lupus Impact Tracker™ can help you determine a rating for how lupus is affecting your life.
- My Lupus Log can help you track and monitor symptoms, and help manage your lupus.
- The Appointment Prep Guide can help you make the most of medical visits.
Bring completed versions of the documents (with your log), and any other document you think might help, to all your medical appointments.
Want to Better Understand Your Symptoms?
Get Your Free Lupus Journal
Document your symptoms, thoughts and any questions you may want to ask your doctor. The Journal is just one way Us in Lupus gives you the power to face your Lupus.
Most of the people featured in Us in Lupus are paid spokespeople for GSK.