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How Many Doctors Does It Take to Diagnose Gluten Sensitivity?
Celiac.com 01/09/2015 - A recent article by Jody Berger provides a cautionary tale for anyone suffering from non-classic symptoms of gluten-sensitivity or celiac disease.
Berger, it turns out, has non-celiac gluten-sensitivity. Sounds simple enough, right? But in Berger’s case, it took her one year and visits to a dozen doctors to get an accurate diagnosis.
Berger’s main symptom was tingling in her fingertips, a feeling of slight pins and needles, as if they were waking from a deep sleep. The sensation wasn’t painful, she said, but it was persistent, and concerned her enough that she sought medical help to figure out the cause.
When her first doctor diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis after a very brief visit, Berger sought a second, then a third, then a fourth opinion. In the course of her many visits, doctors told her she had nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, Lyme disease, and depression.
After a dozen visits, she finally found an osteopath who was “well-versed in systems thinking,” and another physician who had trained in ayurvedic medicine, a holistic system of healing.
The tingling, which the first doctor believed to be a sign of MS, is actually a fairly common, though not classic, symptom of gluten sensitivity.
This story highlights the amount of work patients can face when they present with atypical symptoms of gluten-sensitivity. Many times, well-intended doctors can simply miss the dietary connection and get the diagnosis wrong.
Do you have a similar story of well-intended, but misguided doctors wrongly diagnosing gluten-sensitivity or celiac disease?
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams