Visiting Your Doctor
When you first visit your doctor, he/she will take your medical history and give you a physical exam. They will also take some blood for tests and perhaps order an ultrasound of the liver.
To prepare for your doctor’s visit,
- take a list of questions (see below) with you
- bring copies of your previous blood test results
- invite a friend or family member along for support
- try to take notes while you talk to the doctor so that you have important information written down
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What kind of hepatitis B infection do I have: a new "acute" infection, or a "chronic" infection?
- Could you please explain each hepatitis B blood test result, and any additional test results (ultrasound)? Please make copies of my test results for my own personal files.
- Where can I get my family, spouse or sexual partner tested and vaccinated for hepatitis B? What do I need to do to protect them until they are completely vaccinated?
- Am I a good candidate for treatment? If not, why not? If yes, please explain why and tell me about the treatment options?
- If I am not eligible for medical treatment, what do I need to do to monitor my hepatitis B?
- Do I need to be regularly screened for liver cancer? If yes, how often?
- Could you tell me about clinical trials? Do you offer any clinical trials for hepatitis B? If so, could you please explain them to me?
- For young women: If I want to have children, should I wait to start treatment? If I need to start treatment now, at one point can I consider having children?
- How will having hepatitis B affect my job or ability to work?
- How will having hepatitis B affect my health insurance or my ability to get health insurance?
- Here are the names of the medications that I currently take – are they safe for my liver?
- What over the counter medications or herbal supplements can I safely take for pain, cold symptoms, etc.?
- Should I be tested for other liver diseases, such as hepatitis C or D?
- Should I be vaccinated to protect myself against hepatitis A?