IBD: Crohn's Disease

Preparing for your GI Appointment

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Good communication with your doctor is an important part of effective management of a gastrointestinal disorder such as IBD. Before your appointment, take the time to keep a symptom journal that can help you and your doctor see patterns in your activities and identify specific triggers for your symptoms. Include the following information in your journal!

  • Write down the symptoms that are bothering you and for how long you have had them.
  • Write down key personal and medical information, including any recent changes or stressful events in your life.
  • Make a list of the triggers (food, stress, activity) that seem to make your symptoms worse.
  • Make a list of medications you are taking, including the conditions you take them for. Also, note if any of your medications seem to affect your symptoms.
  • Talk to your family members and find out if any relatives have been diagnosed with IBD or another digestive disorder.

Also, create a list of questions to ask your doctor during your appointment. Specifically, you may want to ask your doctor questions such as:

  • What do you think is causing my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my condition?
  • What diagnostic tests do I need?
  • Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend trying first?
  • If the first treatment doesn’t work, what will we try next?
  • Are there any side effects associated with these treatments?

Preparing for your GI Appointment

Good communication with your doctor is an important part of effective management of a gastrointestinal disorder such as IBD. Before your appointment, take the time to keep a symptom journal that can help you and your doctor see patterns in your activities and identify specific triggers for your symptoms. Include the following information in your journal!

  • Write down the symptoms that are bothering you and for how long you have had them.
  • Write down key personal and medical information, including any recent changes or stressful events in your life.
  • Make a list of the triggers (food, stress, activity) that seem to make your symptoms worse.
  • Make a list of medications you are taking, including the conditions you take them for. Also, note if any of your medications seem to affect your symptoms.
  • Talk to your family members and find out if any relatives have been diagnosed with IBD or another digestive disorder.

Also, create a list of questions to ask your doctor during your appointment. Specifically, you may want to ask your doctor questions such as:

  • What do you think is causing my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my condition?
  • What diagnostic tests do I need?
  • Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend trying first?
  • If the first treatment doesn’t work, what will we try next?
  • Are there any side effects associated with these treatments?