Patient and Gastroenterologist Communication

For many, noticing signs of a developing gastrointestinal illness might initially feel uncertainty as to how to handle the situation, or even embarrassment. Not communicating with your physician about issues that might be construed as embarrassing or uncomfortable. Withholding information can be dangerous, especially because many gastrointestinal ailments can be alleviated quickly if found soon, but leaving ailments like hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome just go without any sort of treatment can be very dangerous and can lead to much worse, more devastating illnesses.

Bringing an open mind and willing to enter into an open dialogue with your gastroenterologist is the easiest and faster way to diagnose your illness and receive fast, efficient treatment. Obviously, a portion of the responsibility of bringing an open dialogue to the table rests with the physician. The physician needs to be able to address the patient’s most likely embarrassing questions with comforting answers and suggestions. Having a sound patient to physician relationship limits the amount of unnecessary tests, referrals, and misdiagnoses that may occur.

This process of comfortable patient-physician interaction can be complicated, no doubt. Describing the symptoms in full, as well as past problems of a similar vein, is tough, but necessary – especially with a doctor you may have never met before. The physician will listen closely to your medical history and current symptoms and, hopefully, encourage further discussion. Questions like ‘how does this affect your daily routine’, or ‘what are your expectations from seeing a doctor’ are quality, ice-breaking point of conversation that can help more efficiently make the correct diagnosis.

The next time you’re worried that an ailment based in your colon, stomach, esophagus, liver, intestine, rectum, or on your anus is developing don’t be afraid to reach out and contact your doctor. It’s their duty to treat you with respect, knowledge, and do it all in a comfortable environment for you. The aim is to relieve your discomfort, and it all begins with a handshake with your physician.

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