What are some good questions to ask your doctor?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/17/2009 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm very timid around doctors, so it's been suggested I write down a list of questions to ask at my next appointment, then I can make sure I get all the information I need, instead of just running away because the doctor looks busy.

So, what are good questions?

Can I be referred to a dietician?
Will I have an assigned doctor that I can arrange appointments with if needed, how can I arrange these?
What treatment options are available to me?
Is there evidence of permanent damage, or is it just swelling/ulceration?
Is there evidence of stricturing?

Thank you for your time and patience. I know I'm taking advantage of all your experience and not giving much back, I will rectify this over time though!


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 440
   Posted 7/17/2009 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I do make a list. I get in there and forget many things I want to say so a list is a great idea!
How long have you had CD? that would make a difference of what questions to ask.
 41 yr old woman with 12 surgerys under my belt. Diagnosed in 2005 CD. PTSD 1999. Gullbladder taken 2000, Hysterectomy 2005, Back surgery 1998 with herniation L-4, L-5, S-1. Two-Re-sections on small intestine, total of 18 inches taken out 2006. Stomach Herniation from re-section 2007, Been getting kidney stones too! The good news...finding this website.
                Meds: Imuran 200mg daily, asacol, Bentyl, Coelestid, occasional flagyl and cipro, high blood pressure meds, paxil 25 mg, 4/20meq's potassium, synthroid...& try to get alot of laughter in.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/17/2009 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I was "diagnosed" by barium follow through xrays on 7th July, confirmed (I think) by a colonoscopy on the 14th July, though the results of the biopsies haven't come back, so I don't know if it counts as a full diagnosis yet.

This appointment I'm getting will be my first chance to talk to a doctor about my crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 7/17/2009 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I usually make a list a couple of days before my appointment then add to it - the things I have forgotton. I always forget things

I would ask your consultant about any medication they sugest for you, any side effects - what you can expect to benfit from taking it.

Do you work? Ask about been covered by the disability discrimination act. This sure helps me at work, time off etc

Dont be rushed , maybe take someone with you to help you remember things that the doctor says and to support you.

Ask if you need to have regular blood tests.

Its very individual though and you must ask things that matter to you. I have my doctors secretarys number so I can ring and get an appointment if I need to see her, perhaps you could ask for that too.

Good luck
Diagnosed 2005.
Current medication  -  infliximab infusions, ranitidine, ferrous sulphate, Vitamin B12 injections, asacol

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 7/17/2009 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
"What can I do to maximise my chances of getting better?"

S/he'll probably say "take your medicine", but I am thinking of things like diet, exercise, sleep; if you have a stricture you may be asked to peel certain fruits and vegetables; things like that.

"What sort of treatment plan to you have in mind for me?" Your doctor *might* already have some idea on whether your disease is mild or severe, so might have some idea of whether you can still expect to be unwell in 6 months, and what sort of medications you might be needing to take in 6-12 months.

"What should I do if I get very sick between this appointment and our next one? Is there someone I could call and consult with, or should I go straight to the hospital? What happens if I get sick after office hours, or on the weekend?"

"What symptoms would you regard as an emergency (i.e. go straight to hospital), and which symptoms can wait until our next appointment?"

"What can I do to make our appointments go smoothly; what can I do to help the communication process?" Some doctors might like you to keep a symptoms diary, for instance; some might prefer you to come with a list of questions already prepared; I'm sure you know to bring a list of your current medications with you to your appointment, as well as a list of the prescriptions you need.

Good luck,

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 7/17/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I would ask for copies of all your tests and procedures. This is invaluable if you want to see someone outside the medical system like a Naturopath. I would also want to see if the Doc plans any more blood tests for nutrient deficiencies. A lot of the complaints that Crohn's causes are related to nutrient deficiencies (as a result of malabsorption due to diarrhea) and it is common to be deficient in B12, folic acid, iron, vitamin D, vitamin K and almost all B vitamins (especially B6). Electrolyte imbalance is also a common problem (due to diarrhea) so you might want to ask about that too.

I hear so many people say that their doctor says "eat what you want - diet has no effect on Crohn's" that it hurts. If you read enough of the posts here, you will see that almost everyone here has a list of foods to avoid. If you get a referral to a dietitian, interview them over the phone about problem foods and what to avoid. Some dietitians are all about high fiber and nutrient density, but that misses the big issue of problem foods. Several people here can't tolerate fiber, so that idea can cause more problems than it solves.

You may be able to find more questions that apply to you by reading more of the posts here at HealingWell. You don't need to read everything, but a good sampling may turn up questions about your own case.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/18/2009 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all.

I'm asking around friends and family to see if I can find someone assertive who'll come along with me. My partner and I are both very timid and accomodating to doctors, so that won't help too much, but a bit maybe. A doctor friend of mine is offering to come along too, but only if I'm lucky enough to get my appointment on the 3rd or 4th Aug. So, fingers crossed.
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