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Need Help In Chicago, Il

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My boyfriend was diagnosed with celiac sprue as an infant. He remembers eating gluten-free foods as a child, but once he entered his teenage years his family sort of stopped focusing on it. He really doesn't know that much about it at all. He has no symptoms whatsoever, but I know that doesn't mean anything. I want to try and get him to see a specialist, but really don't know where to start. We live in Chicago, and I haven't been able to find out that much online in terms of a referral. I did read one post from December about a physcian referral, but I believe that was a dermatologist. Is that where you start? My hope is that he will want to be tested again, and potentially have a biopsy taken to determine what kind of damage if any has been done. Is there a kind of doctor that you "start with" in a sense, then move to nutritionist to manage the disease? Can a general family doctor administer the necessary tests, or would they then recommend a specialist? As you can tell, we need help!

I hope to learn what first steps he needs to take to address the disease again, and a referral for a doctor in Chicago would be wonderful.

Thank you!

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A gastroenterologist probably will know the most about celiac disease, then maybe a nutrionist. However, a primary care physician should know a little and they can perform almost all the testing for celiac disease (your boyfriend needs to be eating gluten for the majority of these tests though, but based on your post, I am assuming he is). However, ignorant doctors are the worst, so make sure that you and your b.f. are well educated, otherwise the docs may try to derail you with some generic diagnosis (IBS, anyone?) or tell you that you grow out of celiac disease (not true!!) or even tell you the symptoms don't match (nearly impossible since the symptoms are variable). Usually, insurance will require that you stop by a primary care physician first anyway. Some pcp's are nice enough to admit their ignorance and just give you a referral to a gastro; then again, some may know enough to help you all out. Anyway, see a pcp first, then take it from there, whether that requires additional doctors or not.

Good luck.

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Hi there. I live in chicago and was recently diagnosed with celiac. I was referred to a GI doctor. My doctor's name was Karen Kim and she is at the University of Chicago (in Hyde Park). Great hospital - lots of doctors - wonderful reputation. Anyway, I was given a blood test and tested very high positive for Celiac. This was right away - I was lucky, i didnt have to suffer for years like so many people with Celiac do. I started having noticeable symptoms for about 3 weeks - went to the doctor and they performed all sorts of tests - the blood test being one of them. Just to make sure, they did an endoscopy (tube down your throat to get a biopsy of your intestine) and it was confirmed that i had celiac.

I highly recommend Karen Kim - she was really great - both my mom and i really liked her. she actually listened to my problems and i just felt that she actually cared about me, you know? after i was confirmed with celiac - she turned me over to a dietician (Beth Wall) and a celiac specialist (Carol Semrad). Both at the University of Chicago. The dietician was wonderful she gave me so much useful information. The specialist was okay, i learned more from the dietician. but i would recommend all three doctors. If i were you, my first step would be to get into Karen Kim.

Please let me know if you would like more information - you can PM me. I am actually headed to Dr. Semrad this afternoon for my 3 month checkup!!

Good Luck.

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Wow! Thank you so much for all of the helpful information. I really appreciate all of the specifics, and he is making the appointment tomorrow! I am sure we will continue to frequent this board in the future. I look forward to possibly helping others one day. Thanks again!

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