If you have been suffering from abdominal pain, it can be really exciting to finally receive some sort of diagnosis from your doctor. Whether that diagnosis is Crohn's disease, IBS, or something else entirely, it's easy to just run with it because you finally have an answer. But before you jump ahead too far, it's a good idea to get a second opinion. Here's why — along with some tips for getting that second opinion.
Why is a second opinion so important?
Causes of abdominal pain are really hard to diagnose. A lot of it depends on symptoms, how the doctor interprets the symptoms you are reporting, and what questions a doctor thinks to ask. The symptoms of Crohn's disease, IBS, gall bladder dysfunction, leaky gut syndrome, and other abdominal conditions are all very similar. Doctors do their best to reach the most likely diagnosis based on what they observe, but sometimes they are wrong.
Seeking a second opinion gives another doctor a chance to look you over, consider your symptoms, and say "you know, this one element may be being overlooked." If they disagree with the first doctor, then you have two avenues to explore a little further, which increases the likelihood that you actually find out what is wrong. On the other hand, if they agree with the first doctor, you can be more confident that the initial diagnosis was correct, and you can pursue treatment with gusto.
What are some tips for seeking a second opinion?
When seeking a second opinion, it is a good idea to look for a doctor who has a slightly different history and specialization than your first doctor. For instance, if you previously saw a gastroenterologist who specializes in autoimmune disorders, look for a GI doctor who works with cancer patients. This ensures the second doctor has a slightly different knowledge base and education to draw from as they work to diagnose you.
Also, if possible, do not tell the second doctor what diagnosis the previous doctor arrived at. If they do not know this information, they are less likely to be biased towards giving you the same answer. While doctors do not give biased answers on purpose, bias is an inevitable part of human nature.
It's always a good idea to seek a second opinion after you are diagnosed with any abdominal ailment. This way, you can be confident that you are taking the right approach. Finding online second opinion options for belly pain from professionals is a great way to get the diagnosis you need for the right treatments.