No GI in town? Anyone else?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 8/4/2010 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
So, long story short we are moving in a few weeks to a small town, about 20,000. I have never not lived in a metropolitan area so finding a GI doc has never really been an issue. There is a small local hospital, they don't have a gastro department or any GI docs listed. Can this be right? Is that normal that a small town doesn't have all specialties?

Anyone else not have a GI where they live? There is a little larger city about 90 minutes away. I am wondering will a family doc be willing to prescribe my maintenance drugs and then I just travel to the city when I am having issues and really need to see a GI?

Sorry if this question seems silly. Right now I live in a population of over 1 million, moving to a small town is a big change for us!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998, father has UC we were diagnosed at the same age.

Currently on 20 mg Prednisone, 2g Sulfasalzine, homemade Kefir for my probiotics, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, D3, B complex vitamin. Previously on Remicade, just stopped Humira after 9 months, wasn't working.

No surgeries so far.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 440
   Posted 8/4/2010 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Umm...yes, there are small towns around me that have a traveling GI that comes every 3-4 months depending.  I have often thought that it would be hard for me to move rural because of this. If you are in a maintenance situation that would work though. I think you should post something about where you live and let the forum do it's talkin'. Word of mouth is sometimes the only thing we have!
 "Get busy living or get busy dying"
Dx in 2005 with Crohns after a Hysterectomy. Re-section in 2006...came apart so got to do it again! Frequent Kidney stones and Shingles... a new present as of 08-09 Diabetes Type 2. Total of 12 surgerys.
Imran, Asacol, Colestid, Bentyl, Lamotil, Paxil, Nexium, Probiodicts, Vit D, Folic Acid, Lots of Potassium, Fish Oil, up to 6 Immodium a day. Oh, and one Giant Pill holder!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 8/4/2010 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I go to a GI that is over 2 hours away.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/5/2010 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
In a smaller community like that the local primary care docs will usually have referral lists to the nearest largeer city or medical center -- GUs, neurologists, etc. I'd find a good local internist for general care and ask who he/she uses for GI referrals to manage your Crohns.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/5/2010 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I have to travel in the Colorado mtns 4 hours to my GI and Rheumy. It's worse in the winter when Monarch Pass is closed due to avalanches!!!! smilewinkgrin   Good Luck!!!
Imuran 100mg, Remicade every 4 weeks ..... tried and failed many other meds. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/6/2010 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I live in a fairly big city with plenty of GIs, but choose to go to a GI who's about 25 minutes away (I know not really a comparison to 90 minutes, but still a bit of a hike).  Long story, but while undergoing a diagnosis for something else, I got fed up with local GIs who told me to wait it out and went to this other GI in desperation on a co-worker's advice and have stuck with her since.  Anyway, back to the topic :-)....she and her staff are aware that I travel a distance and they're more than happy to manage from a distance, especially when things are going well.  I call in when I need a script refill and they'll phone it into the pharmacy.  If I'm having an issue, I call and get a phone call from the GI that afternoon.  If she wants blood work or a stool test, she'll fax me a script and I'll bring it to the local blood draw station (they'll give me collection cups for stool cultures too).  I'll call in with reports of how a new med is working.  You get the idea ... we've managed to make it work over the last 9 years.  I still see her every 3 months or more if things are active or every 6-12 months if things seemed to have calmed down.
Good luck with the move.
34 - Diagnosed with Crohn's in Nov. '05
Current Meds: Apriso, Canasa, Methotrexate, Pamine Forte, Aciphex, Domperidone, Folic Acid, Restasis, Zofran, Zyrtec, Zantac, Align, Calcium, Vitamin D, Centrum, Digestive Enzymes, Thera-tears Omega 3 Supplement
Gluten free since Aug. '03

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/6/2010 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I wonder if Crohns and GI disorders are as prevalent in small towns.
25 year old 
college student trying to get a degree in philosophy
Diagnosed Jan. 2008 with Crohns disease.  Been on solumedrol, flagyl, Pentasa, Rowasa, Prednisone, Humira.
Currently on Pentasa and Humira.  Started Humira 4-8-10.
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