To change or not to change (GI)?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 3/10/2009 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   

Just a simple question...what the different GI can tell me? They all use the same meds...does it worth to go to the different one? like second opinion?

I understand, miracle will not happen that he will say "You have no UC", but can he change anything? Right now, my GI (who I think is not bad) just trying to give me all possible that may work like: "Oh, this didn't help, try this!" But don't they all do this way? rolleyes

Diagnosed with left-sided UC on Sept 08 Colazal 5x2day, Lialda 2 per day (so unusual to take just 2 pills)
Canasa 1 supp. every nigh Cortifoam 1 at night
Vitamins: Zinc, B complex, Fleexsead Oil capsules, Multi. Digestive Enzymes (helps a lot)
***I'm not sick with UC, it's UC sick with me!***

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2202
   Posted 3/10/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
No, they're not all alike. I've been to some that were pro immunosuppresants and wouldn't ever prescribe steroids. I've been to some that would use steroids before immunosuppresants. Some like rectal meds; some jump straight to oral. Some are more open to alternative approaches; some haven't got a clue. If you feel you're not getting the treatment/results you want, see someone else. And even if things are "okay," it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, l-glutamine, vitamin D and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 3/10/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been moderately unhappy with my GI ever since my diagnosis. She seems to have knowledge of the medication options, but she doesn't communicate with me, there's no dialogue. I feel the same way as you do, spluxa, since I know my options are running out, so what would a new doctor tell me?

However, I have talked to people who have cycled through a number of GI docs, and most have said that the doctor's approach can really make a difference. That's where I'm at with my thinking right now, because I really need to have a relationship with a doctor who is actually going to see me as a person, rather than a collection of data on a computer screen or in a medical chart. I'm on the verge of "shopping around" myself.
38 year old woman
Diagnosed October 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Current meds: 20 mg Prednisone, 75 mg Imuran (about to boost to 100). About to start another round of antibiotics as well.
Failed meds: Asacol, Pentasa

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/10/2009 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Not all GIs are the same. The first ones I tried wanted me to wait before giving me an appointment. Or they gave me an appointment, but wanted me to get a colonoscopy before giving me any medication. I was in no shape to be given a colonoscopy at the time. Thank goodness I didn't wait. That's how I found my GI.

My GI didn't make me wait, and he spent time with me, something very rare today. He is gentle and cautious about doing colonoscopies and surgery. There can be complications with colonoscopies and surgery. I wouldn't trust anybody else but my GI.

My GI is a bit old schooled though. I do feel he, like most GIs, prescribes too much medication. But I can do my own research and make my own decisions regarding what medications to take; so this isn't an important factor for me. Plus, when I saw him during my second flare, my colon was severely inflamed. I needed medication. He gave it to me right away without waiting for a diagnosis. He waited a few days for the inflammation to subside a bit before doing a sigmoidoscopy. He waited until I was in remission before doing a colonoscopy.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: pro-inflammatory foods, HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

Post Edited (subdued) : 3/10/2009 7:39:47 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/12/2009 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I strongly encourage you to see another GI doctor. I've been to 3/
#1 told me that 2/3s the world has chronic diarrhea and told my mom when I was first sick and really sick that I looked fine and might want to do a colonoscopy
#2 said I looked terrible, got me in for a colonoscopy the next day...was extremely caring, and tried all sorts of stuff, sent me for a consultation, and then finally suggested me trying another doctor because he was frustrated
#3 got me off prednisone and on rectals, after he listed every medication I could have on my first visit and told me what he suggested - and I was better than I've been since it all started until this past month or so - just had a colonoscopy with him...and the story continues so we'll see

it can be a pain and eventually new doctors may want to get in you in for another dreaded colonoscopy but try a new one before you get to that point and if you don't like them you can always go back
Good luck!
UC diagnosed January 05
Past Meds: Azasan (Imuran) - piercing chest pains after six days so tried different brand aka Azathioprine - morning nausea /didn't really help after more than 6 months, dicyclomine (still flared), Remicade - 7 treatments (stopping because no dramatic changes), allergy shots (03-07), levbid, prednisone (been off since nov. 08!), rowasa
Current meds: Asacol 4 - 3x, Aciphex (acid reflux), canasa and rowasa alternating every other night, konsyl (fiber for bulking stool), multivitamin, caltrate 2x a day. probiotic (florasmart), astelin (nasal spray as needed for allergies), fosamax (bone density)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/12/2009 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
In my 18 yrs of dealing with IBD I've seen 4 GI's (it's hard to find good help) and they've all had different approaches (and bedside manners) but my favorite GI is my current one because he's open to anything that will help my symptoms especially because I'm such a difficult patient mainly because I'm either allergic or non-responsive to traditional oral RX.

It's your health and if you're not happy with your GI then continue on until you find one that's worth your time (and in many cases like if you're living in the US, your money).

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 3/12/2009 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
communication and "bedside manner" are the most important things to me.
i've been very lucky...last gi would call up until 8:00 at night if he needed to get me info or had to return my call!
that was much appreciated.
i just had to change gis bc my ins changed so he refered me to someone else...just had my 1st appt yesterday- he's great!!!!!!!!!
i'd say if you have any doubts, 2nd thoughts, gut feelings etc...get a 2nd might be seeing the best gi in the world as far as others are concerned, but they may not be the right one for everything else it's trial and error.
FYI i left my old gi a couple of years ago bc he decided that patients got to see his PA not him...all he did was consult and do procedures...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5950
   Posted 3/13/2009 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
     My present GI doctor is the same one who diagnosed me in the hospital ten years ago.  I've gotten four other opinions....had a couple arguments with my GI doctor but always clear the air.'s almost like a marriage without the sex.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/ see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

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