After a diagnosis with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you'll have plenty of questions. You may not remember them all, so WebMD has prepared 10 questions for you to print out and take to your next doctor appointment.
Could any condition other than IBD be causing my symptoms?
Do I have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease?
What parts of my digestive system are affected at this point?
What medications do you recommend?
Not only is this good sense, but knowing where the nearest bathroom is can also make you feel more secure.
"If you're stressing [about where the bathroom is], it makes it worse," says Lauren Erbach of Chicago, who has Crohn's disease.
There are bathroom locator apps for that. Some use GPS and can tell you not only where the nearest bathrooms are, but also rate them, too. Many states also have passed bathroom-access laws that require businesses to allow people with medical conditions to use their bathroom.
Bring Your Own Food
When Erbach was first diagnosed with Crohn's, she was afraid to go to work or out with friends and family for fear that there wouldn't be any food she could eat. Now she has a solution: Taking along her own tasties. "It's easy to bring something you can eat, and you make a contribution to the party," she says. "It's all good."
There isn't a diet proven to help treat IBD, but some people find that avoiding greasy or fried foods, cream sauces, meat products, spicy foods, and high-fiber foods may help. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about what you might need to avoid or limit.
Choose Restaurants Carefully
Trigger foods vary widely from person to person, but a lot of people with IBD say spicy foods and some ethnic foods are problems. "[If you're] a little more cautious about what you eat, you can make it through the night with your friends and not have to go home and be in pain and be sick," says Jen Longley of Ithaca, N.Y. Longley, who has ulcerative colitis, also checks restaurants and menus online before going on vacation.