Talking to Health Care Providers

Talking to your IBD health care provider may give them an idea of whether your pain management needs to be changed. They may be able to help relieve the pain and improve your quality of life.

What does the health provider need to know

Here are several ways to communicate about your pain to your health care provider:

  • Where you are having pain

  • What the pain feels like. Is it dull, aching, throbbing, pulling, sharp, shooting, burning, stabbing, or tingling?

  • How severe or bad the pain is on a scale of 0 (no pain at all) to 10 (worst pain imaginable)

  • How often you feel this pain (e.g., every day, some days, every few days)

  • How long the pain lasts

  • What makes the pain better or worse (e.g., movement, food)

  • Any other associated symptoms (e.g., change in bowel movements, fever, weight loss, etc.)

  • How pain affects your ability to work, attend school, sleep, eat, socialize, etc. 

  • Are there any activities that make your pain better or worse?

Download Crohn's and Colitis Canada's MyGut app to track your pain and IBD symptoms. This way, your IBD healthcare provider can track pain patterns over time. You might prefer to record your pain tracking in a journal or diary.

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Write down questions ahead of time

Make a list of your questions before you meet with your healthcare provider, and be sure he or she answers all of your questions during the appointment. The best way to truly understand the answer to a question is to repeat the answer back in your own words. 

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Create a pain management plan

When your IBD healthcare provider suggests a plan for managing your pain, make sure it is one that you can follow. Then stick to the plan and keep recording any pain fluctuations. Report to your healthcare provider any concerns you may have about the plan of care and its success. 

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