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lindseyf

Gi Vs. Dietician Vs. Allergist

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I'm in the process of being tested for many intestinal related problems. I'm currently seeing a GI who immediately ordered the blood test for the antigliadin? immunity as well as a colonoscopy and a 24 hour urine test. I already had normal blood,stool, and pelvic ultrasound test results earlier in the year. I'm just wondering if anyone finds a difference in treatment paths depending on the type of specialist (GI, allergist, dietician, etc.) and if there is a preferred type of physician. I've had stomach pain and diarrhea for the past 6 years, but never wanted to see a doctor for it. 90% of the time I get sick within an hour after eating, so of course the first suspect is IBS. But around the same time I started getting sick, I also developed bad acne which has only gotten worse now that I'm in my 20's. It always starts under my chin as itchy, swollen, red bumps and doesn't seem to go away completely even though I use many acne meds. Anyone else have this problem? Did a dermatologist ever have other suggestions than acne meds? I'm pretty much overwhelmed by all the possibilites and choices of doctors, so any help would be great.

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But around the same time I started getting sick, I also developed bad acne which has only gotten worse now that I'm in my 20's. It always starts under my chin as itchy, swollen, red bumps and doesn't seem to go away completely even though I use many acne meds.

Have you seen a dermatologist for the "acne". It may not be acne, it may be dermatisit herpetiformis (or DH for short). The rash form of celiac disease. It can be biopsied very easily by a dermatologist, and this is a much easier diagnosis of celiac disease than the GI can give you. The treatment is the same. A 100% gluten free diet for life. They may also want to give you some drugs for the rash, but I hear they are pretty harsh on your system.

Let me ask you this. Do the "acne" spots itch or feel sore to the touch? Do they occur in clusters or just one at a time? Do they ever look a little bit like blisters? If the answers to all of these are NO, then it probably isn't DH. But acne that doesn't clear up with acne medication is usually suspicious, and worth seeing a dermatologist about.

God bless,

Mariann

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My thoughts are to find a good GI that you trust and follow his/her advice. If you feel that your doctor isn't helping, find another one--you are the customer and you are in charge of your own health. Meanwhile, do your homework reading reliable sources (preferably those that aren't trying to sell you something).

Those bumps you have may be DH or something else, so seeing a dermatologist also sounds like a good idea. Again, do some research on DH and go into your appointment knowledgeable.

Once you know WHAT your problem(s) are, then you can develop a strategy that includes other professionals like allergist, dieticians, etc.

Just my $.02! Above all, NEVER GIVE UP! :)

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Guest TESTinME

It's good to look at all your options with different people in the medical community and then figure out what you are comfortable with.

My experience has been:

Doctors - know little about digestive deseases and are quick to diagnose you with Irratible Bowel Disease. This is a cop-out diagnoses in my opinion. Your bowel doesn't get irratible for no reason, it is due to something you are ingesting.

Allergist - are best for seasonal allergies but can do some food allergy testing. May be a better bet then a family DR.

Dietition - may help identify foods you are intolerant too by rotating them into and out of your diet and recording your symptoms in a journal.

Also, not sure what acne meds you are on, but it if is antibiotics, this may be causing the problem. Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in your colon. You can check this website's database for all the reported side effects of antibiotics (it's broken down per drug):

http://www.phototour.minneapolis.mn.us/candida/

Years of antibiotics really messed up my digestion and I feel could be responsible for triggering my gluten allergy.

B5 - Panathenic acid works very well for some people with acne starting at about 4 grams a day for 2 weeks, then 2 grams for maintainence.

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TESTinME,

That was a good breakdown of GP's vs. allergists vs. dietitians. I have found the same to be true for me as well.

My GP tried a bunch of stuff, and after about year she told me that she couldn't do any more for me (isn't that depressing news to get from your doctor?)

Also, I have found that a lot of GI's don't know what to do with you when nothing "looks wrong." After having the borderline positive blood test for Celiac's, then borderline endoscopy results, and no change in my symptoms with a gluten free diet, my GI was stumped and wanted to lump me in the irritable bowel category (though after doing extensive research, I knew this was not my problem).

So, while GI's and GP's are great four routine things, and emergency situations, I found that I had to turn to alternative medicine for chronic pain was the recourse that I needed (My GI and GP just had no clue with how to deal with chronic pain unless there was something "obvious")

lindseyf,

Like you I would suffer from my upper abdominal pain right after eating. It was terrible. I would still be sitting at a meal, and my upper stomach would have this terrible, mind-numbing pain that doubled me over. I would have to walk hunched over to the couch to lay down. Sometimes it would take 15 minutes to clear, and other times it would take all night. I was miserable. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worse imaginable pain) I would fluxuate between a 7 to a 10 every night (At times I didn't know how I could survive it). This began happening every night. That's when I had my blood work and endoscopy done (as well as a colonoscopy and a small bowl barium x-ray). I looked "completely normal" to everyone, and it seemed like I shouldn't be having this pain.

So, I began seeing a Naturopathic Wellness Doctor/Dietician/Chiropractor in the Twin Cities. He encouraged me to continue on the gluten free diet so I wouldn't cause my body to undergo any additional stress while he treated me (up to this point, after three months of being diligent on the gluten free diet, I had not had any lessening of symptoms, and in fact appeared to be suffering more than before). He tested me with muscle testing and the like, and found that I had a gut infection of H. pylori bacteria (I had been tested for H. pylori by my GI, and the tests had come back negative, but, my Naturapathic Dr. told me that there are 500 strains of H. Pylori, and that GI's only test for some of the strains - usually the ones that cause obvious ulcers). I began an 8 week treatment program that was not easy, but I just finished it and I feel 70% better (no more terrible attacks, only mild upper stomach pain that only ever escalates to a 4 on the pain scale after the treatment). And now he is treating my gallbladder for what he thinks is causing the remaining 30% of my pain, while encouraging me to stay on the gluten free diet so I don't have any additional problems "spring up." I don't think Celiac's was the cause of my stomach pain, but that being stressed over my stomach pain for a year and a half and not having answers was what cause me to become borderline in danger of developing Celiac's (since I have one of the

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The GI doctor should not just do a colonoscopy, as that is looking at the large bowel. For celiac disease he needs to do an endoscopy (small bowel) and do biopsies from that. He doesn't sound like he knows what he is doing.

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I actually stopped going to an MD when I broke my collar bone and my doctor told me it was a sprained shoulder. I then went to an Osteopathic doctor. She immediately did a bone density scan and found that at 20 I had osteoporosis and then she did a food sensitivity blood test (not an allergy test) and sent me to a GI specialist who did the usual testing for celiac disease (blood, stool, endo, colonoscopy). Everything for the GI specialist came back ambiguous but the food sensitivity food testing showed a sensitivity for grains and a bunch of other things. Then I went to a nutritionist to help me plan a better diet around all that. Then I moved to a small town and it's like no one knows what I'm talking about when I say "I have celiac disease". I finally found a clinic hear that's headed by an osteopath and now I see an MD at that clinic that will sit and listen to me go down the laundry list without looking at me like I'm nutz. So I would say that I've had better luck with osteopathic doctors than MDs. And they're covered the same under BCBS insurance, you're just looking for it to say Osteopathic instead of MD next to the name in the doctor list. But you're certainly going to see a GI as some point and probably a nutritionist or Registered Dietitian.

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