Your GP will ask some routine questions to help him or her diagnose your symptoms. Making some notes beforehand may make you feel more comfortable talking about the symptoms you are experiencing. Try noting some information for each of the following questions:
- Have you had a recent, persistent change in bowel habit to looser, more diarrhoea-like motions, or are you going to the toilet more, or trying to go?
- If you haven’t had a change in bowel habit, do you have bleeding from the bottom?
- Do you have other symptoms such as straining, soreness, pain, itchiness? (If your answer is ‘yes’, you may have piles but it is still important to see your GP for confirmation).
- Have you experienced any abdominal pain?
- Have you lost weight or become more tired lately?
Your doctor may also ask you about your lifestyle and diet (to determine any risk factors), your past medical history, and any medications you may be taking (including painkillers, indigestion remedies, antibiotics and laxatives).