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Old 01-15-2004, 03:27 PM   #1
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StaciL320 HB User
GI doctors

Hi! I have never been to a GI specialist even though I have all kinds of problems with gas, rib pain and things along those line. My internist keeps telling me I am healthy and all I have is some excess gas. Maybe he is right in the respect that I have nothing really life threatening wrong with me, but I know it isn't normal to always feel this way either.

Now, my question is, what can a person hope to expect from seeing a GI specialist? What do they initially do on the first appointment? Do they right away order special tests like colonscopies and endoscopies, or do they try medications first and see how you react. I realize a lot depends on the reason you are going there so in some cases a doctor isn't going to just give you a pill and send you home, but I just want to know what is the standard thing that is usually done on a first appointment. Is it basically listening to your symptoms and examining you? I am assuming a rectal exam (yuck) is standard on the first visit? Do they order a test where they check for blood in the feces? I am sure every doctor operates differently, but I was wondering what I should expect if I were to see a GI specialist, which I just may have to end up doing.

Old 01-15-2004, 09:19 PM   #2
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suzi47cmt HB User
Re: GI doctors

Hi Staci
As you guessed, all doctors, like other human beings, are different, but there ARE some standard things that they always do. Like you eluded to....they take a personal and medical "history" from the patient. Which basically is just asking you questions about why you came to see them, what your symptoms have been over the past, what your present symptoms are. A family history, etc.. Then most likely an exam. Not always a rectal exam. It all depends upon what you say your symptoms are, pain if you have some, and where it is located, etc....
I find they do a lot of discussing mostly with you on the first visit. After they do an exam on you, then depending upon their impression, they may order some tests for you. On some occasions they may feel confident enough just by your history and symptoms to actually presecribe medication on the spot.

I would definitely recommend that you do see a GI specialist, and please do not be too nervous or stressed.

A good hint, since you probably will not be able to help being a bit nervous, is well before your appointment, begin taking daily notes about your daily routines, eating habits, activities, pains, symptoms, etc... that way, when you arrive at the appointment, you will have your little notebook handy, and will be able to give the doctor a MUCH better picture of what is going on with you.

I have crohns disease and to this day, since I write in a daily journal, I bring it with me at every single visit. I still tend to sometimes forget to mention things, that even though they may SEEM insignificant to me, can, and HAVE proven to be significant to the doctor in pinpointing what is going on with me.

Good luck to you Staci, and please let us know how you are doing, and what you find out. Especially if you do see the GI specialist.

Take care.


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Old 01-15-2004, 10:39 PM   #3
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suzyshop1 HB User
Re: GI doctors

The first time i saw a gi specialist,he asked me some questions about my symptoms.Then he had me pull up my shirt so he could press on my stomach.I told him all of my history.He set up an appt to do an endoscopy and biospy right there in his office.

Old 01-16-2004, 12:23 PM   #4
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StaciL320 HB User
Re: GI doctors

Thanks for telling me what to expect when seeing a GI doctor. I guess I always feared this knowing the kind of tests that they do. Before I could even see a GI doctor, I would have to go back to my internist for a referral since that is required under my medical policy. When I have complained to my internist in the past about my symptoms, he just seemed to shrug them off as gas and as being nothing serious, but even if that's true, I am sure there are ways of treating this problem. I personally suspect acid reflux and a hiatal hernia and even wrote to a doctor on one of the other boards to ask his opinion. Of course he told me I would need to be evaluated by my own physican since he is just going by the symptoms I told him, but he felt that what I said was a definite possiblity and that might account for what I have been experiencing.

Anyway, thanks for telling me what to probably expect when seeing a GI doctor. I have seen a lot of other specialists for different problems within the last year or two, but a GI specialist is one that I haven't covered yet. By the way, I am not a hyperchrondiac and don't want you to think I am one because I said I have seen a lot of specialists. Unfortunately I really did have some other medical problems going on, but luckily so far nothing serious was wrong and my problems have either been resolved or treated.


Last edited by moderator4; 01-16-2004 at 12:43 PM.

Old 01-16-2004, 12:24 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 195
StaciL320 HB User
Re: GI doctors

Originally Posted by suzyshop1
The first time i saw a gi specialist,he asked me some questions about my symptoms.Then he had me pull up my shirt so he could press on my stomach.I told him all of my history.He set up an appt to do an endoscopy and biospy right there in his office.
Thanks for telling me what happened when you went to see a GI specialist. I guess everyone is different, but I am sure there are some basics that most doctors do and certain standard tests that are done according to your symptoms.


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