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How do I communicate with my doctor about high cholesterol?

Deb Cordes
Deb Cordes on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist
The best way to communicate with your doctor about high cholesterol is to be an informed patient. Know what your cholesterol numbers are and what they mean. Talk with your doctor to ask him/her what should your cholesterol numbers be. If your cholesterol is to high then ask your doctor what medications and diet should you be on. Ask your doctor if he/she would recommend a dietitian that could help you  understand what foods would be low in cholesterol and how to maintain a healthy diet. Let your doctor know of any prescribed or over the counter medications that you are taking that he/she may have not prescribed. And most important do not be scared to ask the doctor to answer your questions. If you do not understand something ask for a simplier explanation. Sometimes it is helpful to make a list of questions to ask your doctor before your visit. Keeping this list will help you rember to ask the questions.

Your doctor is your partner in treating high cholesterol. Arrive at your appointments prepared. Before your appointment:

  • Jot down the issues you want to discuss - These include your cholesterol test results and an appropriate cholesterol goal for you. Also ask how your cholesterol values affect your health risks.
  • Gather your information - Keep a list of all medications you take, including herbal supplements, and take it to appointments.
  • Grab a notebook - Your doctor will share lots of information at your appointments. Bring a pen and pad to write down any instructions. Or use your smartphone or a mini recorder to record instructions. A friend or relative could also come along to take notes for you.

Before you leave the appointment, be sure you thoroughly understand your cholesterol treatment plan, including any lifestyle changes, medications, or activities your doctor recommends, and see whether your doctor welcomes e-mails if you have questions after you leave. Also jot down when you should have your cholesterol rechecked.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.