Getting the most out of your doctor’s appointment
If you feel that you or your loved one may have a rare genetic disorder of obesity, it’s important to talk to your doctor. He or she will discuss:
- Your symptoms
- Your family medical history
- Your options, including if genetic testing may be useful for you
To get the most out of this conversation, it’s important to prepare.
Make an appointment
When you schedule your appointment, share that you plan to discuss rare genetic disorders of obesity, if possible. Sharing the reason for your visit in advance can help your doctor prepare for your conversation and set aside the appropriate time.
Prepare to explain
The more information your doctor has about your symptoms and family medical history, the better. This is very important, as your doctor may not be familiar with rare genetic disorders of obesity.
You may find this discussion guide helpful in preparing for your conversation with your doctor. Print it out, fill in your information, and use it at your appointment to be sure you cover the information you want to discuss. Other materials you may want to consider bringing include:
A food diary or journal showing all meals and snacks, including any middle-of-the-night eating habits
Family photos and childhood photos demonstrating how you or your loved one has changed over time; growth charts also may be helpful for your doctor
A complete list of symptoms including those outside of weight and hunger (ex: progressive hearing loss or vision loss), as these can be critical to an accurate diagnosis
Ask a buddy to come with you
Ask a trusted family member or friend to come with you to your appointment. Share your questions and concerns with this person in advance so that he or she can help you ask questions and take notes during the conversation.
During your appointment
Be open and honest
You may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk about some of your symptoms. Try not to let this hold you back. Being honest with your doctor will provide the information needed to best help you.
Explain your perspective
Use your discussion guide to explain why you suspect a rare genetic disorder of obesity. Share the supporting information you collected, such as photos, growth charts, and your food diary.
Ask if the Uncovering Rare Obesity program’s genetic test is right for you
Genetic testing may help you take steps to a diagnosis. Tell your doctor about the test offered by Rhythm Pharmaceuticals at no cost to eligible participants, and ask if you are eligible to participate.
Talk about next steps
Talk with your doctor about what you would like to happen after this appointment — for example, discussing the results of your genetic test. Knowing and communicating what you want can help you and your doctor determine the right plan.