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Good Gi In Seattle?
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I talked to my PCP a few days ago and she gave me a referral to a GI. I'd like to go because I like concrete diagnoses and such, AND I want to get some testing done to make sure I'm on track with my nutrient levels.

Is there anyone here who can recommend a GI in the Sea/Tac area that knows her stuff about celiac disease/gluten intolerance? Preferably at one of the Swedish Hospitals, as I have financial assistance with them, but I'd rather get someone who is going to be really helpful and pay a little bit for it, if necessary. I do have insurance that allows me to do pretty much whatever I want, I don't need a referral to see a specialist, so I'm flexible.

Thoughts?

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I talked to my PCP a few days ago and she gave me a referral to a GI. I'd like to go because I like concrete diagnoses and such, AND I want to get some testing done to make sure I'm on track with my nutrient levels.

Is there anyone here who can recommend a GI in the Sea/Tac area that knows her stuff about celiac disease/gluten intolerance? Preferably at one of the Swedish Hospitals, as I have financial assistance with them, but I'd rather get someone who is going to be really helpful and pay a little bit for it, if necessary. I do have insurance that allows me to do pretty much whatever I want, I don't need a referral to see a specialist, so I'm flexible.

Thoughts?

After many years of misdiagnoses from Group Health doctors, I ordered Enterolab tests to diagnose gluten intolerance, casein and soy allergies. When I continued to have gut symptoms, despite abstaining from those 3 allergens, I went to Stephen Wangen, ND, who founded the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle. He accepted my Elab test results as proof of celiac disease. Then he tested me for more allergies and intestinal infections (bacteria, candida and/or parasites). So we found 4 more allergens, which caused my symptoms, and 8 different gut bugs over a period of 4 years. He treated the gut bugs, but never considered why I kept getting those infections.

So I finally went to the Tahoma Clinic (run by Jonathon Wright, MD) where I saw Wendy Ellis, ND. She tested me for stomach acid production with the Heidelberg capsule test and ordered blood tests incluiding CBCs, Vitamin D levels, and thyroid hormone levels. My results explained why I was so vulnerable to infections: I had low stomach acid (which should kill food borne bacteria and/or parasites), low vitamin D levels, low white blood cells, and low thyroid hormones, esp. T3 (caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis related to gluten intolerance). One year later I'm doing very well after taking LDN to increase my white blood cells, vitamin D supplements and thyroid supplements (both T4 and T3).

If you just need diagnoses of gluten intolerance or other delayed reaction food allergies, I'd recommend Dr. Wangen. His IBS Treatment Center is located in North Seattle. However, if you have gastrointestinal (or other) problems caused by many years of misdiagnosed or undiagnosed gluten intolerance, I'd suggest you see doctors at the Tahoma Clinic. They're very good at finding causes of symptoms, rather than just treating symptoms with drugs. There's a Tahoma Clinic South in Renton and a Tahoma Clinic North in North Seattle.

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I go to a Dr. a little further North. Dr. Robert Chaffee. My dad also sees him as does my friend and as did her mom when she was alive. He has offices in Edmonds and Mill Creek. But I see that his practise also has an office in Seattle.

http://pugetsoundgastro.com/

I have had my Endoscopies done at Swedish Edmonds by him but I don't know his exact connection to them.

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I like Virginia Mason as they did biopsies for celiac when the doc thought I had an ulcer. Who knows how much longer I would have been diagnosed (30 years is enough!).

My doc isn't very good but the doc who did my colonscopy was great. Susan McCormick at Virginia Mason. I am going to switch to her because my doc didn't think I needed to be tested for colitis in my colonscopy and the first thing Dr. McCOrmick said to me was "We're going to do some biopsies because celiacs have a higher incidence of complications including colitis." Good call (thankfully I didn't have colitis).

Good luck to you.

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    • I figured I would update those who were wondering.  I have gotten the appt. so far moved up to August 30. I am waiting to have gene testing done via swab for all 3 of my kiddos tomorrow. My daughters celiac antibodies came up negative but her IgA is low which the ped said could cause false negative antibodies for celiac so she will need to see a GI dr. also. The pediatrician is going to call the GI to try to get them in sooner. I am keeping them all on a gluten diet until the GI dr. decides what to do. I am on the cancellation list already for my son, however I am not going to be persistent with my phone calls to them until I have the results of the gene test. I really want that result in my hand before going to the GI dr if I can. Maybe if he is positive, along with his bloodwork and my history they can forgo the endoscopy. But he will eat gluten till then.  My husband and I have been very honest and upfront with him as to what is going on and the possibility of the endoscopy and what that entails and although scared in general he seems ok after assuring him that since I have it he has me to help him every step of the way.  Going through his current diet with him I realized that he is truly on such a low gluten diet that I am actually surprised his bloodwork shows antibodies at all!  So I told him to make a list of allllll the gluten he could possibly think of eating and he needs to pound it until the GI visit or endoscopy. Funny thing is everything he keeps thinking of to want to eat...is already gluten free!  The other night we were at a friends and he asked if he could be done with his hotdog. I made him finish just the bread 😂 Thanks for your help and advise and I will keep y'all posted on both kids!  My oldest is a ok as far as all his antibodies. Just actually had a follow up for other immune issues and all his levels are now normal!
    • I like your plan Cara, I may have to include it in my sons.    Poor little guy is still very very sick. I think he is resisting and cheating, despite having the support of two other siblings and a 100% gluten-free home. 
    • Despite it being a nightmare, I did wait for my kids to get biopsies. At one point I had one severely ill child gluten-free and two more waiting having to eat it. It was worth the wait though and I think long term a biopsy may be worthwhile, especially for school. I have already had issues with schools and camps so having a firm diagnosis has been helpful. 
    • Knowing that the reaction to gluten in celiacs is an uncalled for immune system reaction, I was thinking of how a cure would be possible. Maybe a medicine that somehow turns off the immune system. The only thing that i've heard do that... HIV.  obviously that's way worse than celiac. Just some food for thought.
    • Well, you can probably get an apple or something.  You might be able to get someone to boil you some eggs.  But be careful of things like nuts that should be naturally gluten free.  They have almost always been soaked in a flavor solution that usually containes caramel coloring, "soy" (wheat) sauce and other aditives.  If I am really hungry and must eat in a Chinese restaurant, I order plain white rice and steamed vegetables.  But even so, you must monitor it carefully.  The rice sometimes has other substances added to give it a better texture, and very often the vegetables have in fact had "just a little bit" of soy sauce added.  To be fair, celiac disease is hardly ever found in East Asians, so understandably people are not tuned it to it.  Also, culturally, with the exception of fruits, it is generally thought that the flavor of foods needs to be enhanced, so it is had to find anything natural even in the "western" gorceries. Even in the western restaurants, be careful.  Fish and meat and often vegetables are usually pre-marinated. I will not even attempt to address the issue of cross-comtamination, since that is a whole higher order of things. I do know what I am talking about; I have celiac and have worked here for nearly 7 years.  
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