Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have signs and symptoms that are common to blind loop syndrome, make an appointment with your doctor. After an initial evaluation, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treatment of digestive disorders (gastroenterologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

Information to gather in advance

  • Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time.
  • Bring your medical records, especially if you have had surgery on your stomach or intestines, have any known bowel condition, or have received radiation to the abdomen or pelvis.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions with which you've been diagnosed. Be sure to let your doctor know about any abdominal surgery you've had.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life. These factors can be connected to digestive signs and symptoms.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. It can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

Don't hesitate to ask questions. Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the most likely cause of my condition?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • Are there any side effects associated with the medications you're prescribing?
  • I have other conditions. How can I treat them?
  • Will I need to stay on medications long term?
  • How often will you see me to monitor my progress?
  • Should I take any nutritional supplements?
  • Do I have any vitamin deficiencies?
  • Are there any lifestyle or dietary changes I can make to help reduce or manage my symptoms?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:

  • Have you ever had abdominal surgery?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you first notice these symptoms?
  • Do your symptoms come and go or stay about the same?
  • Is your pain cramp-like?
  • Does your pain radiate to other parts of your abdomen or to your back?
  • Have you lost weight without trying?
  • Have you noticed a change in your stools?
  • Have your signs and symptoms included vomiting?
  • Have your signs and symptoms included a fever?
  • Has anyone close to you had similar signs or symptoms recently?
  • What is your typical daily diet?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with a food allergy or with lactose intolerance?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
  • What medications are you taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs and supplements?
  • Do you have any family history of bowel disorders or colon cancer?
  • Have you ever had radiation therapy to your abdomen or pelvis?
  • Have you ever had kidney stones?
  • Have you ever had problems with your pancreas?
  • Do you have Crohn's disease?
Feb. 26, 2015