7 Things to Do Before Your First Gastroenterologist Appointment

If your doctor suspects you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you’ll be referred to a gastroenterologist for further testing. The first appointment you have with this specialist is important so it’s wise to be as prepared as possible. We’ve put together a list of things to do before your first appointment based on information from the Mayo Clinic.

Pre-appointment Restrictions?

Find out if there are any pre-appointment restrictions when you schedule your first appointment. Some gastroenterologists may insist that you don’t eat for a period of time before the appointment or only eat certain foods.

List Your Symptoms

Prepare a list of all the symptoms you experience—even if you think they may be completely unrelated to IBD. This will help the doctor get a full picture of your medical history. Also, make a note of any old or pre-existing medical ailments you have or have had.

Be Prepared to Be Open

Your gastroenterologist may want to know about any life changes you may have recently gone through, particularly if they have caused stress or anxiety.

Read our list of 10 potential risk factors for inflammatory bowel disease. 

Make a List of Any Medications You Take

Make a list of any over-the-counter or prescription medications you take, including any vitamins or supplements.

Bring Support

If possible, take a friend or member of the family along for moral support. They will also be able to help you remember everything the doctor has told you.

Take Notes

There may be a lot of information to digest in a fairly short time period, so don’t be afraid to jot down any notes that you can reference later. Ask the doctor if they have any leaflets or booklets with information that you can have.

Make a List of Questions

Make a list of questions to ask the gastroenterologist during your appointment. Important things to include are treatments available, possible side effects, diet restrictions, further tests required, lifestyle changes to make, what to expect from IBD, and any other questions you feel are relevant.

Discover five lesser-known symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease here. 

IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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