Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

While you may initially bring your symptoms to the attention of your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a gastroenterologist — a doctor who specializes in disorders of the digestive system.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did your signs and symptoms begin?
  • Does anything make them better or worse?
  • Do you work or live with small children?
  • What types of medications and dietary supplements do you take?

What to expect from your doctor

During the physical exam, your doctor may ask you to lie down so that he or she can gently press on various parts of your abdomen to check for tender areas. He or she may also check your mouth and skin for signs of dehydration. You also may be given instructions about how to bring in a sample of your stool.

Oct. 13, 2015