Staying healthy is an important part of managing your IBD. The start of the school year is a great time to ensure you are up to date all on your vaccinations and other routine health appointments. Here is a list of very important preventative heath checks that you should have regularly:
- Check-ups with your pediatrician: Whether you have IBD or not, you should still see your pediatrician once a year for a regular check-up. There are many things that can affect your health that have nothing to do with IBD. Going to see your GI doctor is not enough.
- Dental check-ups: You should have a dental check-up every six months starting as a toddler.
- Eye exams: Inflammation from IBD and certain IBD medicines can affect your eyes. If you have just been diagnosed with IBD, you should have a baseline eye exam by an eye doctor. You should plan a follow up exam every 1 to 2 years. It is important to tell the eye doctor that you have IBD. If you have any eye symptoms, you should see an eye doctor then, too. If you have eye pain or blurry vision, this is an emergency and you need to see an eye doctor right away.
- Skin Exams: You make be taking immunosuppressant medicines to treat your IBD. Patients taking these drugs may be at higher risk for certain types of skin cancer, so you should have your skin examined by a doctor every year.
- Vaccines with IBD: We recommend that you are up to date on all recommended vaccines and have the flu vaccine every year as well as the Covid 19 vaccine if you are over 12 years of age. If you are on certain medicines, you should receive the flu “shot” and not the nasal spray flu vaccine. Patients who are on certain medicines should not receive any live viral vaccines. If you have any questions about this, please ask your pediatrician or your GI doctor.