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?