My name is Paul. Like many others, my journey to a correct diagnosis was a long one. Too long! As you will see, I contacted several doctors, endured numerous tests and initiated several courses of treatment before concluding that I have celiac disease.
My first encounter with the world of gastroenterology was in 2000. That year, I was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease following a colonoscopy. Not satisfied that the diagnosis was correct, I changed doctors and had a second colonoscopy resulting in another diagnosis of Chron’s Disease. In 2002, I changed doctors once again and underwent another colonoscopy. This time, the diagnosis was colitis.
The prescribed solution for colitis is a steroid and Asacol treatment, a routine I followed from 2002-2004. After experiencing bad side effects from the steroids, I asked my doctor for another consultation in the hope of getting better advice.
In 2004, I went to Doctor Number Three, Jeffrey Schwartz, who sent me to a pharmacist friend of his, Brian Sanderhoff. Brian runs a natural healing store in the Baltimore Area. He suggested some natural supplements along with something called Probiotics. These supplements are designed to promote natural immunity and aid with digestion. He also suggested that I try a gluten-free diet.
Following my discussions with these two men, I stopped taking all medications and only took the supplements while maintaining a gluten-free diet. Within days, I felt better. It was a miracle! After six months, I stopped taking the supplements altogether but stayed on the gluten-free diet.
After 1 ½ years, I still feel fine. I am not taking any medication whatsoever and am maintaining a gluten-free diet.
Actually, this leaves me a bit in the dark. Because I did not have all of the standard tests for celiac disease, I have not been diagnosed formally as a celiac. I did have one blood test and it came back with a negative reading.
Regardless of this test, I know how my health changed for the better dramatically when I switched to a gluten-free diet. As a result, I stay gluten-free and I feel fine.
At the request of my doctor, I stopped the gluten-free diet for a few months. The goal was to test if the diet were the true cause of my improvement. And, I had another blood test. Within a short two weeks, I became very sick again.
I returned to a gluten-free diet and have remained on this diet since August 2005. As you can imagine, I intend to remain gluten-free as long as this diet keeps me healthy and feeling well.
A heartfelt thank you goes to two healthcare professionals in Owings Mills, MD. H. Jeffrey Schwartz, MD, is a gastroenterologist and Brian Sanderhoff, PD, is a pharmacist and the owner of Your Prescription for Health. These men saved my life!
Does this story sound similar to your or a family members? You might have celiac disease, find out now, take our celiac disease symptoms checklist.