How to Talk to Your Doctor About Crohn’s Disease

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you might be feeling overwhelmed. You’ll have to learn how to navigate uncomfortable symptoms and flare-ups that can have an affect on your daily life. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of sources to help you, starting with your doctor. After discussing Crohn’s with your healthcare provider, you want to walk away feeling informed and empowered enough to take control of your health, even with Crohn’s. To help you get there, we’re sharing some questions you may want to ask your doctor about Crohn’s disease in order to better understand the condition and how to treat it.

First things first. When should I visit the doctor about Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease happens in episodes, or flare-ups. These are characterized by symptoms like chronic diarrhea, weight loss that you can’t explain, fatigue, and abdominal cramps. If you notice you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor. 

How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?

Crohn’s disease can be diagnosed with the help of lab tests of your blood and stool, X-rays of your gastrointestinal tract, and a contrast chemical that makes your GI tract more visible.

What should I ask my doctor about Crohn’s disease?

After you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s, you may want to ask your doctor these questions about your condition so you can be more informed about it:

  • Do I need to take medication or supplements to help with Crohn’s disease?
  • What should I do to monitor my condition?
  • Should I change my diet with Crohn’s disease?
  • Can a fiber supplement like Bellway help my symptoms?
  • Does my Crohn’s disease increase my risk of getting other conditions, like colon cancer?
  • Will I need surgery?
  • How will Crohn’s disease affect work, travel, or exercise for me?
  • Are there ways to prevent flare-ups?

Other tips for your appointments about Crohn’s disease:

  • Monitor your symptoms beforehand and tell your doctor about them.
  • Take notes during your appointments to better keep track of information.
  • Bring someone you trust to your appointments—they may ask questions or remember things you didn’t think of!