After you make an appointment for IBS diagnosis and treatment, there are some steps you can take to make your visit a smooth one.

  • Keep a diary of frequency and severity of bowel symptoms as well as anything that seems to trigger them.
  • Make a list of all medications you’re taking, including vitamins and herbs.
  • Compile your complete medical history, including any allergies you have and your family history.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About IBS

It’s also a good idea to bring a list of any questions you may have to your first appointment to discuss them with your doctor. Review this list of common concerns before your visit, or print it out to bring with you.

Question About My Diagnosis

  • Does IBS lead to colon cancer?
  • Is IBS associated with other medical conditions?
  • Are there triggers that cause IBS flare-ups?
  • How do I determine the triggers?
  • Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome curable?

Questions About My Treatment

  • Will I need surgery eventually?
  • Are there medications that prevent a flare-up?
  • Will I need to take medication forever?
  • What are the side effects of the treatment?
  • Are there nonprescription or herbal treatments for IBS?
  • Should I take or avoid laxatives?

Questions About My Lifestyle and Family

  • Is IBS genetic?
  • What diet and exercise do you advise? Are there foods I should avoid?
  • Does stress cause IBS? Smoking? Do alcoholic beverages cause IBS flare-ups?
  • Are there complementary therapies available for IBS?