Control your IBD

If you have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (also called inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), is your condition under control? If your treatment is relieving some of your IBD symptoms, you may want to answer "yes." But it's possible that your IBD is not as well controlled as it could be.

To find out if your condition is really under control, ask yourself if you've had any of the following warning signs:

  • IBD symptoms such as diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal cramps, or fatigue
  • concerns about getting to the toilet in time
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unintentional changes in eating habits (without a doctor or dietitian's advice)
  • feelings of sadness, frustration, or anger about your IBD
  • difficulty doing your normal activities because of IBD
  • changes in your social life because of IBD
  • changes in your ability to work because of IBD
  • less enjoyment of life because of IBD

If you've noticed any of the warning signs listed above, it's possible that your current treatment is not providing you with the best possible control of your IBD.

But the good news is that you can take control of your IBD! Talk to your doctor about how your IBD is affecting you. You can use the warning signs listed above as a starting point for the discussion. Your doctor can help you find a treatment that will provide better control of your IBD.

You should also see your doctor if:

  • you think you may be having side effects from your IBD medications
  • you're not sure whether your IBD treatment is working

To get the most out of your visit to the doctor, it helps to prepare in advance. Make notes of how your IBD is affecting you, which treatments you have tried, and any questions you may have about your IBD and its treatment.

In order to get the best possible control of your IBD, it's important to know what to expect from treatment. There are many treatment options available. Some treat the signs and symptoms of IBD flare-ups, some keep IBD in remission, some treat or prevent complications of IBD, and some control the condition itself. If you're wondering which treatment is an appropriate option for you, speak with your doctor.

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