4 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor About Your IBD
Dr. Mayank Agarwal

he best way to approach managing your IBD is to work closely with our doctor and treatment team to develop a plan of action.

1. Understand your IBD

If you’re new to the world of IBD, you may be confused by all the acronyms and terminology that are used.

Ask your doctor to clarify what part of your intestines are affected.

You should also ask our doctor what type of IBD you have. IBD is broken down into two main types, so it’s helpful to learn whether you have ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD).

2. Be open about your IBD symptoms

When discussing your IBD with your doctor, it’s essential to always be honest about your symptoms. our doctor has heard everything, so there is no need to be embarrassed. Plus, not telling your doctor about a potentially severe symptom could be harmful to your health.

Here are just some of the symptoms that you should be discussing with your doctor:

  • Appearance of blood in your stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in your bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, etc.)
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to engage in everyday activities

It’s very important to tell your doctor if you believe you are having a flare of your IBD symptoms. If you’re having abdominal pain, take note of the specific location or locations. You should also ask your doctor for a full list of symptoms that they consider to be an emergency.

3. Talk about your treatment options

When it comes to treating IBD, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your doctor has likely provided you with treatment options for managing your disease and may be asking you to decide how you would like to move forward. At this point, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor in order to understand the risks and benefits and make an informed decision.

4. Find out what’s next

After being diagnosed with IBD, your first few appointments will likely focus on addressing inflammation and putting together an action plan. But don’t forget about managing your IBD in the long-term.

Ask your doctor if there are any other tests that they recommend. You should also find out how often they want you to come in for appointments and how frequently you should get follow-up testing (like colonoscopies).

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