It’s hard for me to imagine 1 year ago this week I was sitting at Dr. Aukerman’s seminar thinking to myself, “maybe I do have a problem with gluten.”
After 20+ years of having issues, could this finally be the answer I was looking for that would solve all my bowel problems? Would this doctor really be able to finally solve the mystery? As a matter of fact, he did but only because I persisted in looking for answers.
I started Pretty Little Celiac a little over 4 months ago and I couldn’t honestly believe how fast it picked up in the gluten-free/celiac community. I’ve met hundreds of people struggling with the same exact symptoms but are unable to find their “Dr. Aukerman.” I get question after question from readers wanting to know how I finally was able to figure it all out and who helped me get there.
Let me give you my suggestions on how to go about this journey based on my own experience.
1. Don’t ever let someone tell you nothing is wrong if you believe otherwise. One of the most frustrating appointments I’ve had to date was with an allergist trying to find something wrong. There had to be something making me sick in my food so I went to get allergy tested. 100 back pricks later with NO results. Nothing! Not one thing came up as a problem during my test results. That doctor recommended I go to see a GI doctor but also told me that they really wouldn’t be able to figure out intolerances unless I went on a complete food restriction diet and then added foods in slowly. Well, I’d already been to several gastrointestinal doctors and just figured it was a wash.
2. Referrals – And when I say referrals I mean from friends and family that have had simliar problems and went to a doctor who they trust and finally helped them out. Doctors can refer to other doctors but do those doctors listen to their patients? Do those doctors actually take the time to spend with you so you know what is wrong? Do those doctors know about the bedside manner of their colleagues? All of these things are important. I knew my friend went to Dr. Aukerman and trusted him with her care. She also felt incredible since her diagnosis so of course I was going to check him out.
3. Google Searches – Make sure you look for several different terms when you are searching and you include a 50 mile radius for your search. Gluten intolerance doctor, celiac specialist, celiac gastrointestinal are some terms I would start with when researching online. Often these doctors have been reviewed online as well by other patients so that even cuts down on some stress of finding a new doctor.
4. Check with local gluten free or celiac support groups as to what doctors they like seeing and have helped them. Other people suffering from the same problems is the perfect way to start!
5. See if your local University has a celiac center or doctor specializing in the disease at the school. Specialists are often found at large medical centers like Universities because they can get money for research so they stick with places that will pay for those types of things.
**Do NOT take gluten out of your diet if you are going to be tested for celiac disease or gluten intolerance**
You need to keep everything the same prior to seeing any doctor so the tests can be done. If you start changing things prior to testing, it can seriously affect the ability to find out what is actually wrong.
How did you find your doctor? Leave a comment with a tip so others can get the help they need!