If you or a loved one has received a Crohn’s diagnosis or if you think you may have Crohn’s disease, you likely have many questions. In order to learn as much about the condition as possible, you’ll need to effectively communicate with your physicians. To get the most out of your appointment with your Crohn’s doctor, it might help to bring a list of questions with you to your next appointment.
Preparing for Your Crohn’s Appointment
Before meeting with your Crohn’s doctor, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you’ll need to make the most of your visit. A week or so before going to the doctor, start keeping a list of all of your symptoms. Include such symptoms as:
- abdominal pain or discomfort
You’ll also want to note how often you are having bowel movements during the day and mention if you have experienced any change in your normal bathroom behavior.
Also, keep track of the foods that you are eating and note if any of them seem to make your Crohn’s disease symptoms worse.
Crohn’s Disease Questions
Write down or print the following questions to bring with you to your doctor’s appointment. Remember to bring something to write with so you can record any important information your doctor provides:
- Could something other than Crohn’s disease be causing my symptoms? In order for you doctor to effectively answer this question, you will need to provide him with the list of your symptoms as well as your medical history.
- How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed? In order to make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will likely need to perform a series of tests, including X-rays, blood tests and endoscopic procedures. Ask him which tests, if any, you will need to undergo.
- How is Crohn’s disease treated? In order to manage Crohn’s disease and alleviate your symptoms, your doctor will likely suggest lifestyle changes and may prescribe medication. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.Ask your doctor about the effectiveness of the treatments and also discuss which treatment options you think would best fit with your lifestyle. Also discuss treatment side effects.
- Could my diet be causing my Crohn’s symptoms? Many foods trigger Crohn’s disease symptoms. Provide your doctor with a list of foods you eat and also discuss the effects they seem to have on your symptoms. Often, removing triggers from your diet will greatly alleviate your symptoms.
- Do I need to restrict any of my activities? Crohn’s symptoms may worsen after certain activities. Talk to your doctor about the activities in which you participate.
- Are there any medications I should avoid? Certain medications, including laxatives, could worsen your symptoms or interfere with your Crohn’s treatment. Ask your doctor about medications you should avoid.
- Could relaxation therapy be beneficial? Some Crohn’s patients have had success with relaxation therapy. Ask your doctor if this treatment could be helpful for you.
- When should I come back for a follow-up appointment? Your doctor will schedule your follow-up appointment depending on the severity of your symptoms and the treatment methods prescribed.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of American (2007). Questions to Ask My Doctor/Nurse/Healthcare Team Member. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from the UC and Crohn’s Web site: http://www.ucandcrohns.org/printHtml/drscant_questions.html.
IBS Help (n.d.). Questions to Ask your Doctor about IBS. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from the IBS Help Web site: http://www.ibs-help.com/ibs/ibs_questions.asp.
Smith, Michael W. (reviewed July 1, 2004). 10 Questions about IBS. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from the WebMD Web site: http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/questions-about-ibs.