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.

MORE: 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 vitamins and 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.

MORE: 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.

One comment

  1. It was really amazing that I found this article before I started looking for a good gastroenterologist to conduct a thorough examination of me. You mentioned preparing myself for questions that the doctor might ask like life changes that I had gone through recently and if they induced stress or anxiety. I think I can be open to these types of questions, still, it’s good to be prepared. Thank you for sharing!

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