How to choose a new GI?

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/29/2008 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I need to find a new GI, and I want to do it before I have another flare because I don't even want to talk to my current doc.

I moved out of state, away from my original GI. At my first visit with my new GI (during a minor flare), he told me he wanted to switch me from Asacol (6 per day) to Canasa (1 every 3 days) based on my diagnosis of ulcerative proctitis 3 years prior. He said the Asacol gets released throughout my colon before reaching the area I needed the medication (rectum), so it wasn't the appropriate med. That sounded logical, so we cut out Asacol entirely. Four months later, I had a moderate flare, which was resolved with Rowasa. In August, I had a severe and debilitating flare, with extreme abdominal pain, blood, mucous, etc. I had never had a flare even half as bad as that. For the first time, I was prescribed prednisone and eventually hospitalized. They did a colonoscopy during the flare (is that a good idea?) and it revealed pancolitis. I now suspect that even if the switch to Canasa did not cause the spread of my UC, not being on Asacol certainly made the flare much worse. I practically had to beg to go back on the Asacol.

My GI also seems to have a very narrow view of what works with UC--only wants to discuss traditional meds and clinical trials. Seems dismissive of diet modification and homeopathic supplements, probiotics, etc. On top of all of that, the nurse practitioner I usually see there has a poor bedside manner.

Of course, I will have to go with a GI who is in my health insurance network, but I guess I'm looking for ways to figure out if a doctor is open minded about treatment. Right now, I don't even feel like I can mention the other things I'm trying, and that is potentially dangerous since that means they won't be aware of potential interactions b/t meds and suplements.

Has anyone out there found a great GI without relying on luck? Should I just give up and add a naturopath to my team of health care providers?
28 yr old Female
Diagnosed with mild-moderate Ulcerative Proctitis 2005
Colonoscopy 2008 revealed Pancolitis -- after GI replaced Asacol w/Canasa :(

Current Meds
Asacol 400 mg x8
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin B stress complex
Evening Primrose Oil
Fish Oil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1580
   Posted 10/29/2008 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
What part of the country are you in?

If you are still having rectal type symptoms after the rowasa please try cortifoam...its working for me when rowasa would no its so much easier to use and it does not stain like mesalamine either.
Moderate Pancolitis
Dx'd 05/2007
8 Pentasa per day (4X2)
Corti Foam p.m.
Probiotics, Bowel Soother, Fish Oil, Calcium, Multi Vitamin and Melatonin
Trying to reduce sugar in my diet but cannot tolerate artificial sweetners
I excersice daily
Did I happen to mention I HATE this disease!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 10/29/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry that you're facing having to find a new GI. I'm on my 4th and am going to have to find another one again. All of the doctors I see seem to treat me as if I'm a text book case which I am not. They don't seem to listen to my symptoms but try to treat my disease anyway. It's really frustrating. I don't have an answer on how to find a good doctor. It seems like they always start out with the best intentions but as soon as I don't respond to meds. the "way I should", they want to give up on me.
Female, Age 37
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03
Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Cortenema as needed
Ferrex Forte
Sacchromyces Boulardii 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 10/30/2008 3:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Do you have a primary care physician? Can he/she perhaps recommend someone who is more open to alternative treatments? I haven't had a GI doc who just dismissed probiotics offhand like that. If anything, they indifferent or uneducated. My current GI doc actively gets his patients on to probiotics, and I think that all the docs in his office are the same way. Plus he is plenty generous with free samples of meds and different pro-bs. Are you still living in Denver, or did you just move from there?
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements:  Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort enema every other night, Prednisone (down to 5mg), flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.

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