Welcome to this week’s Gluten Free Works Health Guide Newsletter! Our Feature today reveals how gastroenterologists look at, diagnose and treat celiac disease and the importance of being one’s own health advocate. Be sure to review some of the newest updates to the Health Guide below.
Featured Article: Doctor Survey Shows Patients Must Be Own Advocates to Receive Proper Care
A survey presented at the most recent American College of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting exposed disturbing revelations about how gastroententerologists look at, diagnose and treat celiac disease in patients. The survey found the majority do not recognize common indications of celiac disease, diagnose it properly, or bother to take continuing education on the subject.
Only 20% of Gastroenterologists use endoscopies to diagnose celiac disease. Endoscopy with intestinal biopsy is the STANDARD test that doctors are supposed to use to diagnose celiac disease. One in ten do not prescribe a gluten-free diet to their patients although the gluten-free diet is only the treatment. We have seen this ourselves. People will say, “my doctor told me to stop eating bagels, bread and pizza.” Or, their doctor will tell them to Google celiac disease to learn about it. The result is the patient does not know what they need to be healthy.
65% of the doctors reported learning about celiac disease in medical school and 70% said they have learned more since medical school. That means 1/3 never had a class on celiac disease and 30% learned nothing new since. Only 29% have taken continuing education courses available. While many doctors are familiar with classic symptoms, they may not be aware of other indicators that have become common in recent years. We see this all the time. Doctors still look for the following symptoms: child, bloated abdomen, anemia, chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive.
Reseach has exploded in the past five years, but it doesn’t help patients if their doctors do not read it and are using obsolete information they learned in medical school fifteen years ago.
The doctors in the survery were gastroenterologists. They specialize in disorders related to gut health. If they do not recognize the importance of learning about celiac disease, then how likely is it that general practitioners, who are responsible for every type of illness and injury, are up to speed on celiac disease?
This is why patients must be their own health advocates, understand celiac disease and gluten sensitivity and have access to resources like the Health Guide, that explain their symptoms, nutritional deficiencies and treatment, so they can bring this information to their doctors to insure they receive proper care to manage their health.
Tip: Each page of the Health Guide includes a Print Page link. Clicking the link will generate a printable PDF of that page that you can print out and bring to your doctor to explain a certain symptom to help him or her treat you. See Printing Pages on the How to Use This Sitepage.