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What to Ask Your Doctor?

Before going to the doctor, think about what you need to ask him or her. Here are a few commonly asked questions, which you could ask your doctor to elaborate upon:

General questions:

  • What tests will determine the health of my liver?
  • What do my test results mean?
  • What lifestyle changes will help keep my liver healthy?
  • Can liver damage be reversed?
  • What are the symptoms of liver disease?
  • What causes hepatitis?
  • How does drinking daily affect my liver?
  • What other toxic substances damage the liver?

 Questions on diagnosis, treatment: 

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • At what stage is my liver disease? What does this mean?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment?
  • What are the chances for success with the planned treatment?
  • Do I need treatment right away?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
  • How long will I receive treatment, how often, and where?
  • How will it be given?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?
  • How likely is it that the disease will recur after treatment?
  • How will the treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
  • Could the treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?
  • Could the treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before treatment begins?
  • Can you refer me to another patient who has received this treatment?
  • What follow-up tests do I need, and how often do I need them?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?
  • Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
  • Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • Are there any clinical trials that are right for me? If so, how do I find out more about them?
  • What resources or websites do you recommend for more information?