Seeing a Celiac specialist for the first time

Recently I decided that it was high time for me to get a check up on how my poor ole intestines and body are doing. The last time I got blood work /a physical done was about two years ago and it was normal, but I have never been to a Celiac specialist since my diagnosis in 2007, so I figured they would be much more helpful. Awhile back I decided to give up the majority of dairy products, which seems to have helped, but I have ongoing symptoms that I’m hoping this new doc can help with.

I went to the George Washington Medical Center, and my experience couldn’t have been better. The doctor (a gastroenterologist) was extremely knowledgable, and presented me with a few options for a course of treatment.

One option included eating gluten for two months to test my diagnosis. While it was tempting to have a doctor-approved gluten binge, I declined and went with the other option: a endoscopy and colonoscopy to see what damage there is to my intestines and if I have IBS or something else on top of my Celiac Disease.

celiac blood test results

Good news is I got my blood work back and the Celiac Disease Comprehensive was clean!

Bad news is (see above) I have to get an endoscopy/colonoscopy, which sounds like just about the least pleasant thing I can imagine. But, if there’s something I can do to get my health back in top form, I’ll just have to power through it.

I’d love tips/advice on my upcoming procedure – I plan on stocking up on jello and tea for the day of fasting, but any help is appreciated!

And a resource for those of you in the DC area – the DC Celiac Support Group keeps a list of favorite doctors in the area if you’re looking for one! Find it here.

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7 responses to “Seeing a Celiac specialist for the first time

  1. Schedule early in the morning so you can eat a big dinner the night before and then you aren’t starving by the time of your procedure. Mine was at 3pm and I was ravenous! Also, I couldn’t have anything but water 8 hours prior to my endoscopy so you better check with your doctor about tea and jello. Also ask if you should stop taking any medication (if you do) before the procedure.

    I woke up during my procedure but they just gave me more anesthesia and I went right back to sleep. I thought the doctors were in my apartment, which shows how out of it I was. Afterwards, I was really chilly and kind of sore so they gave me a heating pad for my chest in the recover room. After about 36 hours, I was fine. I think most of my side effects were anesthesia based and not related to the endoscopy itself.

    Good luck!

    • Ugh, I thought about scheduling it earlier in the day, but I had to do it later so someone could come pick me up. I eat every 2-3 hours usually, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge to fast.

      Hilarious about thinking the doctors were in your apartment! I’ll wear something warm to avoid those chills.

      Thanks, Erin!

  2. My most recent tests were in June. The cleansing is the toughest part for me. They gave me liquid to drink and a couple of pills to take. Once everything comes out clear you don’t have to finish the pills or the liquid. I did not take one pill and never finished the liquid. I had to start the cleansing at least 1 1/2 to 2 days before. They gave me a list of the types of food I could eat-jello but not red, gateraide but only limeade I think and broth. Moist bathroom wipes are a must! I had Demerol and slept through the entire thing. My throat was a little scratchy when I woke up but that was it. Get some movies, stay in and do not plan on leaving once you start the cleansing.

  3. I had my procedures done about a year apart but neither are bad – the prep is worse than the procedure! For the colonoscopy prep – definitely have popsicles or Italian Ice on hand. They take a long time to eat so it seems more filling. i felt the effects of the prep for 24 hours after my surgery so if you can, take the day after off as well or work from home. After the endoscopy, have whoever is picking you up bring a smoothie/milkshake/frozen drink – you will be hungry but eating solids may be too much. And I totally agree with the previous poster – try to get as early in the morning procedures as possible!! Good luck!

  4. was called by my dcotors to tell me I had a kidney stone got an appt.with a Urologist within 2 days then within 4 days I had it taken care of. Then the beginning of this year in January I was starting to look like I was looking between 3 to 5 months pregnant then on that weeks Friday I woke up and I needed my husband help to get my sweatpants-socks & shoes on since I was so bloated that I looked like I was over 9 months pregnant. Luckily I had a GI appt. that morning, I was in so much pain my GI had me go to the Er to get an xray to find out if it was just gas or inpacted with stool which it was so I was admitted for 4 days. They tried 2 enema’s, 1/2 bottle Magnesium Citrate none of them helped so when I got to my room they gave me a Duculax suppsotorie. They also did a CT & MRI as I have MS & Gasperisis. So when I was released my GI doctor put me on a non-gluetin diet and still having issues.

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