You’re in your doctor’s office when you find out you have Crohn’s disease. But, unfortunately, everything appears to be a haze to you. You can’t even remember your name, let alone formulate a good inquiry to ask your doctor.
For a first-time diagnosis, this is understandable. You undoubtedly want to know what the sickness is and its implications for your lifestyle at first. You will need to ask more specific questions about managing your sickness at your follow-up consultation.
Here are ten questions to help you focus on your treatment:
Is there another condition that could be causing my symptoms?
Crohn’s disease is linked to other bowel illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. It would help if you questioned your doctor why they think you have Crohn’s disease and whether there’s any chance it’s anything different. Different diseases require different treatments. Thus, it is critical that your doctor is meticulous and does numerous tests to rule out anything else.
Which sections of my intestine are affected?
Crohn’s disease can affect any area of your digestive system, including:
mouth, colon, small intestine, and stomach
Because lesions in different sections of your gastrointestinal tract might cause distinct symptoms and side effects, knowing where your disease is located is important. This can also influence the course of treatment you will respond best to. For example, if your Crohn’s disease has spread to your colon and is not responding to medicine, you may require colon surgery.
What are the potential negative effects of the meds I’m taking?
To battle Crohn’s disease, you will be given powerful medications, and you must monitor for adverse effects while taking them. For example, you will almost certainly be taking a steroid, such as prednisone, and one of its negative effects is weight gain. Other drugs have distinct side effects that you should be aware of. Some medications will even require regular blood tests to ensure you are not getting anemic. Before starting any new medicine, talk to your doctor about potential side effects, so you know what to look out for.
What happens if I don’t take my medication as prescribed?
Because some medications have unfavorable side effects, some people prefer not to take them. It is critical to inquire with your doctor about the risks of ceasing your medicine. For example, you will almost certainly experience a flare-up of Crohn’s disease. Still, if you stop taking your medicine entirely, you may end up damaging part of your intestine and requiring surgery. Missing medication occurs from time to time, so ask your doctor how to handle missed doses as well.
What signs indicate a medical emergency?
Crohn’s disease can create uncomfortable symptoms like excessive diarrhea and abdominal discomfort, but it can quickly progress to a life-threatening condition. Strictures, or constriction of the intestine, can result in intestinal obstruction. As a result, you will experience severe abdominal pain and have no bowel movements at all. Crohn’s disease can cause a variety of medical emergencies. Ask your doctor to go over any other potential crises and what you should do if they occur.