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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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    • 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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