Questions to ask my GP
If you think you may have Parkinson's, find out how best to prepare for a GP appointment and what questions to ask.
Before the appointment write down what you want to talk about and what you want to get from the appointment.
This can help if you are feeling anxious or worried, and can help you remember the questions you want to ask.
Things to talk about during the appointment
The symptoms you're experiencing
Do your symptoms get worse at certain times? How do they affect your day-to-day life?
Write down anything else that you think your GP needs to know, such as any medication you’re taking.
During the appointment your GP will ask you questions about your mental and physical health. Try and be as honest as possible. Give them as much detail as you can about how you’re feeling and what your symptoms are.
Remember you can take someone with you to an appointment for support, such as a close friend or family member.
Ask to see a specialist
Only a Parkinson's specialist doctor can diagnose Parkinson's. Your GP should not diagnose you, or start you on any Parkinson's medication. The GP should refer you to a specialist if they think you may have Parkinson's.
The specialist will ask you more detailed questions and do some simple tests to investigate your symptoms.
Ask how else your GP can help
A GP can't diagnose or start you on Parkinson's medication. But a GP can:
- give advice on things like sleep or stress
- pass your details on to a talking therapy service if you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed
- give advice on smoking, alcohol, exercise and flu injections
Appointments last around 10 minutes. For some people this is not enough time. When you make your appointment, ask for a longer appointment if you think you will need more time.
The GP will write down what you talk about in your appointment. This will include your symptoms and any treatment they give you or offer to you. The GP will record this on your medical notes. Your notes will be kept confidential (this means they should not pass them on to anyone else unless you agree or it is necessary to).