Choice of care

When you are looking for help, you may come across a variety of people who play important roles in gastrointestinal health. Here’s a little bit about each one.

GP

Your GP still plays an important role in your on going health, so make sure you keep regular appointments as needed

Gastroenterologist

Your specialist with expertise in diseases of the digestive system. They diagnose your condition, discuss treatment options and evaluate how well they are working.

IBD nurse

IBD and stoma nurses specialise in the care of people with digestive diseases. They can provide you with assistance and training in the care of your body when undergoing treatment for a digestive condition.

Find a gastroenterologist. While you will require a referral from your GP, visit the Gastroenterological Society of Australia’s website to find a gastroenterologist in your local area. It is important to find someone you can work with during this process of investigation and treatment.

Dietitian

A dietitian may be involved in your care to help you get the nutrition you need, while minimising aggravation to your digestive system.

Find a dietitian. Search the Dietitians Association of Australia for accredited practising dietitians.

Pharmacist

You will probably get to know your local pharmacist well, and they should get to know you too. Be sure to let them know all the medications you are on before purchasing over the counter or prescription medicines.

Psychologist

A diagnosis of IBD, like other chronic (long-term) conditions can affect us emotionally as well. Some people find talking to a psychologist helps them to get through the challenging times.

Ask the right questions

Sometimes it can be overwhelming going through the process of being diagnosed with IBD. It may help to know what you can and should ask your doctor. Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America has put together a list of questions to ask your doctor.