Inflammatory Bowel Disease: What to Ask Your Doc

Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on August 18, 2019

When your doctor tells you that you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), these 10 questions can help you get information you’ll want to know.

  1. Could any condition other than IBD be causing my symptoms?
  2. Do I have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease?
  3. What parts of my digestive system has it affected?
  4. What treatments do you recommend?
  5. How soon should I expect relief?
  6. What side effects from the medicines should I watch out for? What should I do if I notice them?
  7. What should I do if my symptoms return? Are any considered an emergency?
  8. Are there symptoms outside the digestive system that could be caused by IBD?
  9. Should I change my diet or take nutritional supplements?
  10. Would it help me to make any other lifestyle changes?
  11. When should I have a follow-up appointment, and should I see a specialist?
  12. What is the long term prognosis for my IBD?
WebMD Medical Reference



Faten Aberra, MD, assistant professor of medicine, gastroenterology division, University of Pennsylvania.

Raymond K. Cross Jr., MD, professor of medicine, gastroenterology division, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Kristen Farwell, MD, gastroenterologist, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA.

Edward V. Loftus Jr., MD, professor of medicine, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: “What is Crohn's Disease?”

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