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Is a Doctor Follow Up Visit Necessary After a Celiac Diagnosis?

Is a Doctor Follow Up Visit Necessary After a Celiac Diagnosis?

is there a test for gluten sensitivityDude note: The holidays are all about giving. So I thought I’d take the 14 days after Thanksgiving and answer 14 emails I’ve received from my fellow celiacs asking for guidance. And I’d like this to be a communal effort. My advice, shocking as this may be to hear (sarcasm), may not always be the best advice. So please chime in and lend your voice. Maybe I can clear my inbox at some point in 2016.

Day 6 of 14

A lot on my plate today, so let’s just jump right into today’s email.

Hey Gluten Dude!

I am a newly diagnosed celiac. I’m sure you hear from a lot of us. :) I’ve had a few months to research, network, and try to navigate the gluten free life before my endoscopy. And, I know, I wasn’t supposed to go gluten free until after the biopsy, but I also couldn’t wait 3 months to feel some sort of reprieve. So I detoxed, then re-toxed for 4 weeks, got my biopsy confirmation and am now going through detox round 2. It’s not been fun, but I’ve certainly learned a lot about this gluten beast and what it’s done to me. I am my own lab rat and my own scientist.

With a long history of immunosuppressive ailments, I’ve not had great luck with doctors being able to able to troubleshoot the problems or provide me with any sort of healing guidance. I rely on them for the hard evidence stuff when we know what to look for.

My question to you is, do you find the informational follow up visit with the Gastro Doc to be helpful after initial diagnosis? Or have you heard that others have found it helpful? The gastroenterology center where I had my initial consult and procedure just sort of spit me out and noted on my biopsy result paperwork that I should schedule a follow up visit to go over the diagnosis. Yet they can’t get me in until December. That’s a long wait and I will be well into traversing a gluten free, gut healing existence. So I’m not really seeing the point.

I guess I’m wondering what you and others have experienced.

Thanks! Your blog is a helluva find :)

Great question (and I now realize I need to start using the word “helluva” more often in my blog. I love that word!)

I’ve received so many doctor horror stories when it comes to celiac disease over the years, I can see where your doubt comes from. It’s frustratingly well-founded.

Even though my doc was great and did an amazing job diagnosing me right off the bat, there was no follow-up care initiated on his end. After a year or two of not healing, I went back to him a few more times thinking something else had to be going on. But nope…it just took my body a few years to heal. I even got a second endoscopy. All was good.

But honestly…there is only one thing for you to do after the celiac diagnosis: eat 100% gluten-free for the rest of your life. So I’m not sure of the necessity of a follow up visit, unless they had a dietitian on staff who can help you with your new diet. Even then…not sure what he/she could offer.

Here’s what I would say. If you feel like you need some reassurance and you trust your doc, it can’t hurt to go back for the follow-up. But I would go in armed with questions to ask and any problems you are having. The one great thing about our disease is that it (usually) does not mean a lifetime of doctor’s visits. There is one treatment…and it is completely non-medicinal. Actually pretty cool when you think about it.

Have a helluva day everyone!

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