Talk to your doctor
A good relationship with your rheumatologist is an important part of treating ankylosing spondylitis (AS). One way to build that relationship is to help your rheumatologist understand your symptoms and how AS affects your daily life. When your doctor knows about your symptoms, he or she can decide what treatment is best for you.
By being open and honest with your rheumatologist, you give yourself the best chance of benefiting from your treatment. For example, tell your doctor about your pain, stiffness, and fatigue levels. Mention the treatments you have tried, how long you've taken them, and the results you've had. Writing out your questions in advance will help you have a more focused conversation.
To help you get the most from your appointment, we've created an Ankylosing Spondylitis Discussion Guide . Simply download and print the guide, answer the questions, and bring it to your next appointment. Answering these questions will help you discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Together, you and your doctor can then decide if treatment with REMICADE® may be right for you.
Bring your completed Ankylosing Spondylitis Discussion Guide and make a list of topics you'd like to discuss with your rheumatologist, including:
- Your symptoms
- Medications you take
- Your allergies (if any)
- Your medical history, including procedures and previous illnesses
- Previous AS treatments (if any) and the results you had with them
Be completely open about the symptoms that bother you:
- Share details about your pain, stiffness, and fatigue levels
- Tell your rheumatologist about any side effects you experience, including stomach problems or skin rashes
- Talk to your rheumatologist about how AS has affected you emotionally
Questions to ask your rheumatologist
You may want to ask your doctor the following questions during your next visit:
- Are further tests required to confirm my diagnosis?
- What is happening to my body as a result of AS?
- Aside from my spine, are there other areas of my body that might become involved?
- Should I expect any complications from AS? If so, what might happen?
- How are my AS symptoms likely to change in the future?
- What are my treatment options for AS?
- What is the purpose of the treatment you suggest?
- How and when will this treatment make me feel better?
- What are the benefits and potential side effects of this treatment?
- What should I do if I experience side effects?
- How and when should I exercise?
- What activities should I modify or avoid?
- What lifestyle changes should I make?
- Are there any self-help devices that can help me perform daily tasks more comfortably?
- Should I see other healthcare professionals, including a physical therapist?
- When should I come back for a follow-up visit?