At Your Appointment

Rheumatoid Arthritis Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • Describe what you consider a flare of your RA symptoms.
  • How many RA flares have you had in the past year?
  • Were your flares predictable (such as, brought on by stress or other triggers) or unpredictable?
  • In which of your joints are you experiencing RA symptoms? In each case, is the joint on both sides of your body affected?
  • Are you taking your rheumatoid arthritis medications as directed?
  • For how long have you been having unexplained joint pain and joint symptoms?
  • In which of your joints are you experiencing symptoms? In each case, is the joint on both sides of your body affected?
  • How often do you have joint pain or swollen joints? Frequently, occasionally, or rarely? What time of day is it worse?
  • Do you notice anything that triggers your joint symptoms and makes them worse?
  • Do you have problems with dry mouth or dry and irritated eyes?
  • Are there specific activities your joint symptoms are preventing you from doing, such as cooking, climbing stairs, other activities? Be specific.
  • How well is your medication controlling your symptoms? Do you feel it is effective?
  • Are you having any challenges with taking your rheumatoid arthritis medications?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • Are you satisfied with your rheumatoid arthritis treatment plan? If no, why not?
  • Do my symptoms mean I have rheumatoid arthritis?
  • How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? What tests or exams can be used to make a proper diagnosis?
  • Could my symptoms be caused by another medical condition?
  • What medications are available to improve my symptoms?
  • What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
  • Are there lifestyle changes I can make to improve my symptoms, such as exercise or dietary changes?
  • How would you categorize my rheumatoid arthritis: mild, moderate or severe?
  • What are the best rheumatoid arthritis treatment options for me?
  • What should I do if my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms get worse?
  • How will I know if my treatment plan is working well or if it needs to be changed?
  • How often do I need to make appointments for follow-up? What are you looking for when I have follow-up appointments?
  • Are there other rheumatoid arthritis medications that would do a better job of controlling my symptoms?
  • Are my new or different symptoms an indication that my rheumatoid arthritis is getting worse?
  • What should I expect with my specific case of rheumatoid arthritis? How do you believe my symptoms will progress?
  • Are there specific activities I should avoid?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Jul 17
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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