Ask your doctor

The following questions can help you talk to your doctor about your individual risk of having a stroke. Print out or write down these questions and take them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your doctor’s response when you get home.

Doctor talking to patients are explaining the treatment of a patient's illness

Bring a list of questions to ask your doctor about treating and managing a stroke.

Risk factors

  1. Based on my family history, am I at greater risk for having a stroke?
  2. Based on my personal history, am I at greater risk for having a stroke?
  3. I’ve heard atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a risk factor for stroke. How do I know if I have that?
  4. Does diabetes increase my risk of having stroke?
  5. Do my cholesterol levels put me at risk for a stroke?
  6. Is my weight within a healthy range to prevent a stroke?
  7. Can you help me quit smoking (if you smoke)?
  8. Is my blood pressure within the normal range? Can you help me control high blood pressure?
  9. What dietary choices should I be making to do everything I can to reduce my risk of having a stroke?
  10. What level of exercise is safe for me to reduce my risk of having a stroke or other problems with my cardiovascular health?

If you’ve had a stroke

If you’ve had a stroke or mini stroke, it’s not unusual to feel concerned and want as much information as possible to speed your recovery and reduce your risk for having another stroke in the future. The following questions can lay the groundwork for a discussion between you and your doctor.

  1. I’ve been depressed since I had a stroke. Is that normal?
  2. How soon will I recover from complications, such as problems walking and talking?
  3. What additional tests may I need?
  4. What are my treatment options? What combination of lifestyle, medication, and in-hospital treatments/surgery/rehabilitation may be necessary to combat the disease?
  5. What is my prognosis? What are the likely outcomes?
  6. What are the odds that I’ll have another stroke?
  7. Can I or will I again be able to enjoy the quality of life I had before the stroke? What can I do to improve the odds of this?
  8. What happens after treatment? If treatment involves recovery, how long will that take?
  9. What follow-up will be necessary?
  10. How long is a particular treatment likely to be effective?
  11. Who can I turn to for support (hospital staff, support groups, etc.)?