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How to get the most out of doctor visits

Updated On:
April 2024
David Harris

A Guide for Discussing the EDS Trifecta with Your Doctor

Navigating the healthcare system can be challenging, especially when dealing with complex conditions like Ehlers-Danlos Sydnrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Effective communication with your healthcare provider is crucial for a successful medical consultation. This guide provides strategic approaches to help you discuss MCAS more effectively with your doctor.

Strategies for Successful Medical Appointments about EDS, MCAS, and POTS:

1) Document Your Symptoms and Concerns:

Begin by thoroughly documenting your symptoms, how they affect your life, and any specific questions or concerns you have. This ensures you cover all important aspects during your appointment. Documentation may include an updated record of your medical history, including diagnoses, treatments, and medications.

2) Prioritize Your Questions and Concerns:

  • Prioritize in Advance: Before your appointment, write down your questions and concerns in order of importance. With the typical time constraints of appointments, this approach ensures that the most critical issues are addressed first.
  • Keep It Short: For in person visits, condense your information into a single one-sided piece of paper in a reasonably large font, making it easy for the doctor to review.
  • Medication List: Always include a current list of medications, along with a brief history of past medications.
  • Categorize Your Symptoms: For clarity, group your symptoms by body system (e.g., brain, heart, joints). This organization can aid in the doctor's understanding and assessment.
  • Narrate Your Health Journey: Share your health story from the onset of symptoms, focusing on their progression and impact on your life. Be descriptive about how things have changed since the symptoms began. Remember that your appointment time may be limited, so you might not cover everything in your first appointment.

3) Submit Documents in Advance:

Provide your doctor with relevant medical records before your appointment. This allows them to review your history and prepare for a more in-depth discussion. Keep in mind that some clinics may not review this information until the day of your appointment.

4) Encourage Open Dialogue:

Ask your doctor to share their thoughts on your condition and potential treatments. Show your interest in understanding and participating in the decision-making process. Be aware that doctors may not be familiar with experimental treatments or supplements.

5) Provide Educational Resources:

If possible, give the doctor scientific articles or resources about MCAS in advance or as a leave-behind resource for them to review on their own time. Highlight the parts that resonate with your experience.

6) Involve a Support Person:

Bring along a family member or friend for emotional support and assistance in remembering the details of the discussion.

7) Practice Makes Perfect:

Rehearse what you plan to discuss with your doctor to convey your concerns more effectively and confidently.

8) Offer References:

Let your doctor know about specialists in your region who are familiar with EDS, MCAS, POTS, and related conditions. This gives your doctor an option for further advice and support. This could include the contact information or simply the names of other providers who have been instrumental in diagnosing or treating your symptoms.


Effectively discussing complex conditions with your healthcare provider involves thorough preparation, clear communication, and an understanding of your own medical history and symptoms. By following these strategies, you can ensure a more productive and informative medical consultation, paving the way for better management of your condition.


Find a doctor who knows how to help