You can 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 constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal cramps
  • concerns about getting to the toilet in time
  • weight loss (at least 10% of your body weight)
  • 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 gastroenterologist about how your IBD is affecting you. You can use the warning signs listed above as a starting point for the discussion. Your gastroenterologist can help you find a treatment that will provide better control of your IBD.

You should also see your gastroenterologist 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. IBD treatment has come a long way in recent years, and there are many treatment options available. Some treat the symptoms of the condition, but newer treatments can control the condition itself and not just the signs and symptoms. If you're wondering whether these newer treatments would be an appropriate option for you, speak with your gastroenterologist.

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