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  • Kelly Carter
    Kelly Carter

    Queen Latifah, Cigna, and Celiac

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      In the US, women are prescribed less pain medicine, have high maternal death rates, offered more antidepressants, and are less likely to be given CPR among other things. Women are not getting the healthcare they deserve.

    Caption: Image:CC BY-ND 2.0--Urbanworld Film Festival

    Celiac.com 10/11/2019 - These three things don't seem to go together, but really they do.

    Recently, Cigna Healthcare has been putting out ads with Queen Latifah about "talking to your doctor about everything".  They want you to talk to your doctor about stress or anything bothering you. This bothers me, A LOT.

    There have been lots and lots of articles about how women are short changed in medicine. In the US, women are prescribed less pain medicine, have high maternal death rates, offered more antidepressants, and are less likely to be given CPR among other things. Women are not getting the healthcare they deserve.

    But it gets worse, the average time for people to get diagnosed with celiac disease is approximately 10 years from onset of symptoms. TEN YEARS! Because there are so many celiac symptoms and it can present in a variety of ways, I can see how this might happen. But now there are inexpensive blood tests for initial screening of celiac that are really, really good. Not 100%, but well over 90% accuracy for the blood tests alone. (This is an average of all tests combined.) Also, when I got tested in 2012, the tests were over $1,000 and took a week to get back. Now, you can get an at home screening test for $100 and back in two days.

    So, I'm a little upset that Cigna is asking us to tell them when something is wrong. I might be telling them and they aren't listening. An undiagnosed celiac patient might be getting dismissed with IBS or antidepressants. A first degree family member to someone with celiac might be asking for testing. Because they don't fit the "classic" profile of someone super skinny with diarrhea all the time, they can't get the tests run.

    It infuriates me that this is put back on us as if we aren't telling them there is a problem. Its like when someone is newly diagnosed and their TTG IGA doesn't go down quickly enough, they say that person is still eating gluten--maybe but maybe not. It is hard to completely eliminate gluten from someone's diet because of all the crappy labeling laws in the US. It takes at least a year to really figure out the diet. And then give it another year before the numbers get into the normal range. So, for me, it should take someone no less than 2 years to get their blood test numbers into the normal range. Some people do it faster and if they can, great! That's awesome!

    I have some health issues I need to get checked out. Specifically, I need to get checked out to determine if I have an amoxicillin allergy. I had a bad allergic reaction that sent me to the ER. I even asked when I was in the ER if he was sure it was an allergic reaction, he was certain. We believe the reaction was to amoxicillin and I need to have some allergy testing. If I am allergic, the next time I get one of the "cillin" antibiotics it could be really bad. I don't know. I am nervous because I'm afraid I'm going to get told there is nothing wrong and we don't need to do testing, just tell your doctors in the future you are allergic. Great, do I need a medic alert bracelet? I'd hate to be unconscious and they give me a "cillin" and I have an anaphylactic reaction. Or maybe I'm crazy. I don't know, but I should not be afraid of going to the doctor to find out.

    As patients, we have a responsibility to tell our doctors what is going on in our bodies. In turn, doctors have a responsibility to listen and speak to their patients as if they were their parent/children. I'm not saying its a perfect system. But we need to advocate for ourselves to make sure we get the care we deserve.

    So, that's my rant today. I needed to get that off my chest! Thanks for listening.

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    I have an acquaintance in the health field who lives in Australia and she says doctors there are right on it when someone comes into their office with symptoms of celiac.  However, here in the U.S. doctors don't take this disease seriously.  My own P.A. thought my celiac talk was 'nonsense' for many years until she started reading medical articles from the U.K. (who take this disease more seriously) saying celiac instances are much more common there.

    The more we pollute our bodies with foods that harm us, instances of food intolerances will continue to rise.  And the food industry here in the U.S. is not listening.  Fast food companies are pouring out junk foods like crazy that are adding more fuel to the fire.  Good luck average Americans.  I got wise years ago and cleaned up my diet.  True, not by choice but I will never look back.

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    I can relate to your frustrations. In 2008 I was diagnosed for celiac sensitivity. I had gone through 3 different doctors before I found one who listened and took me seriously. Unfortunately my extended family and cousins have a high number of celiac disease sufferers. I also have a long list of allergies. I used to have two bright red hospital bracelets that listed everything. One time I was in the emergency room and the person working on me asked what they were for. I told her it was to prevent some careless person from killing me with an anaphylactic reaction. Her eyes got big and she took a closer look at the list and had to stop the requested pharmaceuticals being delivered. I was taken care of with more apparent focus than usual. It scares me for other people who may be unconscious or to intimidated to advocate for themselves.

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  • About Me

    I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2012 and have been gluten free ever since.  I live in Atlanta with my husband and two medium sized children.  I run a blog at FatCeliac.net that covers real life issues with celiac disease, upcoming drug trials, and try to be a reliable source of information for the celiac community.

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