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What does your GE do for you?

I'm asking because I keep getting the feeling mine may not be as supportive and investigative as he should. I've seen him four times in total, for about 15 minutes each time. Except for kidney and liver function tests for meds, he hasn't sent me for any other bloodwork in the past year and a bit since I was diagnosed. I'm going tomorrow to the walk-in to get my vitamin and mineral levels checked because I'm so damn fatigued. I really need to get a GP, and maybe that's who I should be expecting anything additional from. Maybe that's all I need. I don't know. Thoughts?


Super Moderator
A GP and GI are both essential. For some people their medical insurance only allows the GI to perform specialized tests while general tests such as certain vitamin and mineral tests would be performed by a GP. A GP can perform those routine health check-ups you need while the GI will focus only on your health as it relates to Crohn's. But having both is important because other health conditions can aggravate crohn's and crohn's can cause other health conditions. Your GP can work with your GI to make sure that you are getting adequate care based for ALL of your health conditions and not just Crohn's.

Also, if you feel that you have not gotten adequate treatment or follow-up, it would be in your best interest to get a second opinion from another GI.


My GI does colonoscopies and pill cams, discusses the results, prescribes medication to treat Crohn's, and orders blood work in relation to Crohn's and medication side effects. My GP handles everything else. If a new symptom occurs and I'm not certain what is causing it, I go to the GP with it so that he can determine whether or not it's being caused by Crohn's and should be discussed with my GI. A GP has a more broad range of knowledge, so they're better suited to that. My GP also handles blood work in regards to vitamin levels.

What else do you think your GI should be doing for you? If you're feeling well, no blood work other than the liver and kidney function tests would really be needed. However, if you're not comfortable with the care you've received, I do encourage you to seek out a new GI.
Really the two things I am wondering about are checking inflammation, because I don't think assessing med effectiveness based on symptoms alone is particularly accurate, and elemental nutrition. If that's the realm of the GP then I guess I just go to the walkin for now, but I'm a bit concerned about missing something important because I don't know what deficiencies I'm at risk for. It's really tough to get a GP in this town. I haven't had one in a few years after leaving the last one (refused to test me for IBD despite being high risk and symptomatic)

ETA And no, I haven't felt well in a long time, my crohns has been active for years and we haven't hit on the right treatment in the year+ since I was diagnosed.
Don't know how things are out in BC, or if Kelowna is big enough to warrant more GIs, but I had to take action here in Ontario because I was slipping through cracks when I had active disease. My first GI, who was outstanding for me, retired. Despite the hospital knowing this, I went without a GI from April until the following February, at a time where I needed monitoring about every 6 weeks. It would have been longer except I started to hassle the hospital. It is a little more effective when you can demonstrate that the alternative is ongoing care in the ER - far more costly. I actually needed to fire the second GI that I had because of many of the same symptoms you outline. He put me on ranitidine for acid reflux without telling me that I had a hiatal hernia, he didn't ask for ongoing blood work for remicade, and he wouldn't do it for two years when I had severe problems with anemia. Hope it all works out well for you and you get the treatment you need, and soon.
Kelowna definitely need more GEs. The doctor I see most often at the walk-in said it would take up to a year to get in to see one. Fortunately I had an insider (my mom) who got me in to see my current GE. I'm sure he's overworked and he seems nice enough. Really I'm just trying to figure out who has what role by posting this thread. If it's up to me to make sure any other testing is being done when necessary then I guess that's just how it is. Just can't shake the feeling that something's missing...