Your Healthcare Team Q&A for Your Team

Your role on your healthcare team

You have the most important role on your healthcare team. There are many things that only you know about yourself, your health, your lifestyle, your family, your values and your preferences. All of that knowledge is important for developing a treatment plan that works for you. You and your healthcare team should take all that information into consideration when you are preparing a treatment plan.

Some things you should discuss with your healthcare team:

  • What you eat and drink regularly, including alcohol
  • Recent changes in your body weight
  • Whether you exercise, what type of exercise, and how often
  • Any health complaints or symptoms you have experienced recently
  • What kind of support you have from family and friends the costs of any treatments, including other specialists, and what is covered by insurance
  • Your mood and motivation to follow through on any treatment plans
  • Your values, preferences, family factors, and cultural factors that affect your ability or desire to follow a treatment plan

Your treatment plan

You and your healthcare team should develop a treatment plan to reduce your triglyceride levels. That plan should be compatible with other health problems and concerns you may have.

Some things you should discuss with your healthcare team:

  • What is the goal of my treatment? What is my target triglyceride level?
  • How soon should I see changes in my triglyceride levels?
  • What should I do if I have trouble following nutrition advice, exercising, reducing alcohol consumption, taking medication or following through on other parts of my treatment plan?
  • How will my treatment affect my diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or any other health problems or concerns?
  • How can I get and stay motivated?
  • How does my treatment plan work with other aspects of my life: work, family life, social life, etcetera?
  • How long do I need to keep following the treatment plan?

If your treatment plan includes use of medications, here are some questions to ask your doctor about those medications:

  • Does my medication include a patient guide or information sheet?
  • What side effects could this medication have? What should I do if I have side effects?
  • Is it safe to take this medication with the other medications, supplements, and remedies I’m taking?
  • Are there any special instructions I must follow while I’m taking this medication (such as not drinking or eating grapefruit products, or staying out of the sun, for example)
  • How much should this medication reduce my triglyceride levels?
  • What happens if I miss a dose, or take an extra dose?
  • Do I need to take at a certain time of day? With or without meals?
  • How often do I take the medications? Is there a once-daily form?
  • How long will I need to take this medication?
  • How much will it cost me?
  • What other medications are there? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Seeing a Specialist

If you see a specialist, your primary care doctor is still an important part of your healthcare team and should know about all your treatments and treatment plans.

Also, you are still the most important member of your healthcare team. If you play an active part on that team, your specialist will have a better chance to help you.

If you are referred to a specialist, it is helpful to bring with you the following information.33

  • Results of all your laboratory tests, including any genetic tests you may have had
  • The diagnosis related to severe hypertriglyceridemia (sHTG) given to you by your primary care doctor
  • A list of all the medications you are taking, including doses and how often you take them, over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, and any other remedies
  • Information about any other medical conditions you have or have had in the past
  • Information about your family history
  • Your current treatment plan Information about how well you have been sticking to your treatment plan
  • Information about other medications you have used in the past to lower triglyceride levels and how well they worked.
Show References
 
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