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The more you can reveal to your doctor, the better he/she will be able to identify a treatment that‘s right for you. Keep a journal, if necessary, prior to your appointment.

You are not alone. Your doctor has heard these symptoms before and knows which questions to ask next. Please tell your doctor all that you can. Let your provider know that you are uncomfortable discussing these issues and remember that providers are used to this language. Make a list of your symptoms, prioritizing each if that suits you.

Don’t worry about using medical terminology. Just explain, using your own words, as best as you can. Try writing down notes of your conversation in case you have follow up questions later.

Things to mention:

  • Your frequency of bowl movements and how it has changed
  • Your diet, including drinking water
  • Weight changes
  • All current medications, including prescription and over the counter medicines, herbal supplements, and even recreational and/or illegal drugs
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • If you are breast feeding
  • All of your health issues and your immediate family’s health issues
  • Allergies
  • Medications in the past that you have had issues with

Keep in mind that everyone is different. What may work for your spouse may not work for you. Don’t worry, stay calm. Stress can make your issues worse. It may take several tries to have things back to normal. Tell your provider if something is not working for you. That means that there is still something out there for you. Working closely with your provider will have you managing your symptoms sooner than you think.