Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Preparing for your Appointment

If you are suffering from intolerable irritable bowel syndrome, talk to your doctor about it. After the doctor has evaluated you, he may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further tests to make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

In order to make the most out of your doctor’s appointment, the following are some helpful information of what you can do to gain more knowledge of your condition and what you can expect from your physician.

  • Jot down all the questions about your condition to ask your physician – Coming prepared with all the questions can help you avoid forgetting them and will make your consultation with your doctor more productive.
  • List down all your important medical information – This list should include all the illnesses you’ve had in the past and present as well as the present supplements, vitamins and drugs you are asking.  Bring along all your past and recent medical records to your appointment.
  • List down all the symptoms you have been experiencing
  • Keep a food diary – Mention the foods that seem to aggravate your IBS symptoms in your diary
  • Mention in a list the things that make you stressed out and any recent changes you’ve experienced in your life – These things may be the ones making your IBS symptoms more severe and/or frequent.

The following questions are some of the useful questions you can ask your doctor to properly inform you about your condition.

  • What are the things causing my IBS problems?
  • What are the causes for my IBS condition?
  • What tests and exams should I undergo? Do I need to specially prepare for these tests?
  • What do you think is the best treatment procedure for my condition?
  • What is the next optional treatment if the first treatment does not work?
  • Will these treatments entail side effects?
  • Are the foods that I eat responsible for my IBS?
  • What are the foods that can help remove or at least lessen my symptoms?
  • What changes in my lifestyle can help me improve my condition? Will exercise, counseling or therapy aid me in making my condition better?
  • When will be my next doctor’s appointment?

If you have other questions to your doctor, you need to ask them all during your appointment time.

What to expect from your doctor

In order to gain information about your condition, your physician will ask you certain questions. Some of these questions may need you to ponder for the right answer. You need to take your time when replying to these questions so you may answer them as honestly as possible since providing the correct information to your doctor will make him come up with the right diagnosis and a correct treatment plan. Some of the questions may look like these:

  • What symptoms do you experience?
  • When was the first time you experienced these symptoms?
  • Do these symptoms come intermittently or do you experience them most of the time?
  • What things seem to cause or aggravate these symptoms? (These can include the foods you eat, the things that stress you highly or in women, their menstruation).
  • Are you losing weight unintentionally?
  • Have you noticed blood in your feces?
  • Do your symptoms include vomiting and/or fever?
  • Have you been under severe stress lately?
  • What are the foods do you eat?
  • Are you lactose intolerant or have any food allergies?
  • Do you have other health conditions that have been diagnosed in the past?
  • What over-the-counter and prescription drugs are you now taking and have recently took? What supplements, herbs and vitamins are you now taking and have recently took?
  • Do you have family members or relatives who have a history of bowel conditions?
  • Is your condition severely affecting your work or school functions? Is it severely affecting your personal relationships?
  • Is your stomach pain relieved by a bowel movement or not?

Christina Prieto, AP
1617 Hillcrest St
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: 407-234-6454