How to Make the Most of Your GI Doctor Visit

Ever gotten home from the doctor’s office and forgot everything they told you? How about going in and forgetting all of the questions you wanted to ask. It’s easy to do and happens to everyone. Coming in for a doctor’s visit can be taxing – you don’t feel well and you’re taking time out of your day to come. Don’t waste that precious time by following these tips for making the most out of your visit.

Before you come in

Prepping yourself for a visit is the first step to making the most out of it. First prepare a list of all of your symptoms and for each one indicate:

  • What the symptom is
  • How bad the pain is on a scale of 1-10
  • When it started
  • What time of day it happens and how long it lasts
  • How often it happens
  • Anything that makes it worse or better
  • Anything it prevents you from doing.

Next, you’ll want to write down all of the questions you want to ask and anything else you think you need to tell the doctor. This way, you won’t forget to ask anything.

Other things you’ll want to be able to tell your GI doctor are:

  • Your daily living habits.
  • How often have your bowel movements been and what the consistency is.
  • What your diet has consisted of and if anything in particular has been affecting your GI health or bowel movements.

 

What to bring in the day of your appointment

Bring a list of all of your medications and include how often you have been taking them, the prescribing doctor and the strength of the dosage. You’ll also need to bring your photo ID, insurance card, the name and phone number of your pharmacy, and the list of questions and symptoms you made.

 

During Your Visit With The Doctor

Take notes to help you remember your instructions and repeat what the doctor has told you to help avoid miscommunications or misunderstandings. Be sure to ask about return visits or next steps. If you are concerned that you have a specific condition, ask the doctor what the warning signs are so you can further monitor your health.

If you are prescribed a new medication, be sure to write down the instructions for taking it or have your doctor print them out for you. Ask your doctor how you can contact them if you have questions or concerns.

Don’t leave if you’re uncertain about your diagnosis or treatment plan.

 

Further Reading:

The 5 Most Common Digestive Diseases

8 Common Questions about Probiotics and Digestive Health

Colon Cancer Screenings: There’s More Than One