Dealing with any chronic condition such as IBD can be daunting. Simple, everyday tasks can feel impossible, especially during a flare. Although it may be hard, we must learn how to become empowered patients and partners in our healthcare.
I have compiled a list of several tips that have helped me become an empowered patient when it comes to my condition and care.
Seven tips for becoming an empowered patient
- Talk about it: A big mistake I made after being diagnosed was trying to hide my condition. I tried to hide it for so long that for years no one knew how much I was suffering, other than my immediate family who was there when I was diagnosed. Talking about your feelings and your condition can help you learn to accept your diagnosis faster. The more you talk about your condition, the more attention you get and use to help raise awareness.
- Find a doctor you trust: Once you’re diagnosed you may have a lot of questions and ideas in your head about your condition. Some things you may have heard may be misconceptions or exaggerations. Find a doctor you trust to become a part of your healthcare team, and be a source for accurate information.
- Do your own research: While everything on the Internet is not always accurate information, learn to identify misinformation and attack some good old-fashioned research. You can read up on your conditions, treatments available,