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Seattle Doc
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I was hoping someone could suggest a good MD and/or ND in the Seattle/Bellevue area... or just Washington State!

I have not been officially diagnosed with Celiac but I would be willing to bet my right arm I have it and just need a good doc that will work with me.

I had a pretty bad experience with Eastside Gastro in Kirkland, so Im not really looking to go back there - short version of the story is my doc at the time mis heard, and incorrectly documented my symptoms I told him I was having so he insisted I only needed a colonoscopy and not an endoscopy - at the time I had not done much looking into all of this so I trusted he knew what he was doing. Needless to say as both a patient and an RN I am totally not impressed.

Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated!

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I like Dr Koch at Virginia Mason, however he admitted to not having a lot of experience with gluten intolerance (my issue) but he does have a few Celiac patients. He was very nice and actually listened to me though, which is more than I got elsewhere. Unfortunately there seems to be a shortage of celiac docs in the Seattle area.

As a side note, I would not go to Dr Zisman at UWMC...he treated me very poorly.

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Puget Sound Gastroenterology. They have offices in Edmonds and Mill Creek and possibly North Seattle. I see Dr. Chaffee there. So does my dad. My daughter sees Dr. Schnier. So does my Sis in law.

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I go to Susan McCormick MD at Virginia Mason. I went to see her after seeing another GI doc at VM who diagnosed me. Since I was only Marsh I, he said that I "didn't have to be strict on the gluten-free diet" since I wasn't showing much GI damage and he also refused to order biopsies for colitis when he was ordering my age 50+ routine colonoscopy.(I wanted to rule out colitis, as celiacs have a higher risk of getting some types of colitis.)

At VM, the coloscopies and Endoscopies are pot-luck, you get whoever is on that day and that's how I got my first GI doctor. When Dr. McCormick saw me to do the colonoscopy, the first words out of her mouth were "We're going to biopsy for colitis, because with celiac you're at higher risk." I had been planning to ask/plead for it but she beat me to it. So she may not be a specialist but she is aware of celiac and adults. When I saw her for follow-up, she wanted to know my symptoms if I get gluten accidentally and asked other health questions related to celiac (like osteoporosis) and ordered vitamin screening for deficiencies, 5+ years after diagnosis and gluten-free diet.

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Dr. Stephen Wangen, ND founded the IBS Treatment Center (located in North Seattle near Northgate Mall). He has celiac disease and several food allergies. So he understands the confusing symptoms and frustrating diagnostic process. I saw him for 4 years while he diagnosed my food allergies (with ELISA tests) and diagnosed and treated my 8 different gastrointestinal infections (bacteria, parasites and fungus).

Dr. Wendy Ellis, ND works at the Tahoma Clinic North (near Lake City in No. Seattle). She figured out why I got so many gastro infections (8) over a 4 year period and understands all the complications of long undiagnosed celiac disease (nutritional deficiencies, leaky gut problems and other autoimmune conditions which can also impair immunity). She's very knowledgable about hormonal problems (estrogen/progesterone, thyroid, adrenal fatigue, etc.).

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    • Couldn't have said it better!  
    • If you are going for an endoscopy, then please ask for a celiac antibodies COMPLETE panel.  This will help you determine if you have been diet compliant (zapped by hidden sources of gluten or accidental cross contamination) and if your doctor misses the (possible) damaged areas during the procedure.    That way you can rule out celiac disease and THEN worry about the possibility of other AI issues.   I did this last summer.  I got really sick.  My GI thought SIBO right off the bat.  But I asked just to be tested for celiac disease.  Sure enough, I had elevated antibodies.  No need to test for SIBO or anything else at that point.  I just waited a few months for symptoms to subside.   Good Luck to you!  
    • That's good Megan, that you were tested.  Many people have the genes, but only some develop the disease.  Your doctor is right about celiac often appearing after some kind of physical stress or illness. The tricky thing about eliminating one food is that you body may be reacting to multiple foods.  So not getting better could mean you just eliminated one problem instead of 3. It's not unusual to have digestion issues for quite a while after going gluten-free.  Our guts are damaged and that damage has to heal.  But it can't heal until the immune system stops it's attack.  The immune system attack/reaction can keep going for weeks to months.  So it can be a slow recovery.  Often people report getting better and then getting worse and going back and forth on symptoms. What doesn't help is that our bacteria in our guts can get really screwed up by the disease process.  We can't properly digest things so there is more undigested food for bacteria to thrive on.  Avoiding sugars and carbs can help with that issue. Here are some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months.  Some of these you have already taken care of: Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.
      Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.
      Don't eat in restaurants
      Eat only whole foods not processed foods.
      Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.
      Take probiotics.
      Take gluten-free vitamins.
      Take digestive enzymes.
      Avoid dairy if it causes symptoms.
      Avoid sugars and starchy foods. They can cause bloating.
      Avoid alcohol.
      Watch out for cross contamination. Helpful threads: FAQ Celiac com
      http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/forum-7/announcement-3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/ Newbie Info 101
      http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/
    • yes, I was tested for it. They said after stomach surgeries and other major things causing that much stress on your body you can become intolerant to gluten. It happened to my aunt as well who was in a horrible car accident. They said you can always carry the gene in your body and having that much stress on your body can start it.
    • A new study confirms a link between intestinal viral infections and celiac disease. View the full article
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