If have been recently diagnosed with IBD, it might help to ask your doctor the following questions:

  1. What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and how is it diagnosed?
  2. Do I have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease?
  3. What specific area(s) of my intestine is (are) inflamed?
  4. Could any condition other than IBD be causing my symptoms?
  5. How is IBD different from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Can I have both?
  6. How is IBD treated?
  7. What medicines are right for me? How soon should I expect relief?
  8. What are the potential side effects of the medicines? What should I do if I notice any side effects? Do I need to take my medicines even if I feel well?
  9. Should I change my diet, take vitamins or other supplements, or make other lifestyle changes?
  10. How might smoking affect my symptoms?
  11. What are symptoms of IBD flares?
  12. What are the possible complications of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?
  13. Will I need an operation, and if so will it cure my IBD?
  14. Am I at increased risk for colon cancer?
  15. How might my diagnosis of IBD affect my ability to have a baby?
  16. Are my children at risk for developing IBD?
  17. What should I do if my symptoms return? 
  18. Which symptoms should I consider an emergency?
  19. When should I have a follow-up appointment?
  20. How can I get more information?

IBD Research and Clinical Trials

Person touching an image of a stomach
The University of Maryland Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Research Program is a national leader in clinical research.