Return to Index
Talking to Your Doctor About Inflammatory Bowel Disease
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What type of inflammatory bowel disease do I have?
- What complications are associated with this type of inflammatory bowel disease?
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for inflammatory bowel disease?
- Because I have inflammatory bowel disease, are my children at a greater risk for developing it?
What is my best treatment option?
- What other options are there?
- What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment plan?
What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- How long will I have to take these medications?
- What will the plan be if medical treatment does not succeed in controlling my symptoms?
Will changing my diet help?
- What type of changes should I make?
- Can you refer me to a registered dietitian (RD) to help with these dietary changes?
- What will I need to change in my daily routine?
- What are my chances of developing colon cancer?
- What’s my risk of developing other complications?
Will I need surgery?
- Will I have to wear a bag to collect body waste?
- How will that affect my sex life?
- Will I still be able to have children?
- Will I be able to live a normal life?
- Can you recommend a support group for me?
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/17/2014