So you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease. Now what? Did you return for a followup? Do you meet with your doctor regularly to ensure you stay healthy or do you only call up your doctor when something is wrong?
When I was first diagnosed three years ago my doctor recommended that I return a year later for a followup biopsy to ensure I was properly healing on my gluten free diet. Personally I chose not to get the second biopsy. Prior to my diagnosis I had all the textbook symptoms of undiagnosed celiac disease and the first biopsy found damage to my villi. I was feeling 100% better since going gluten free and didn’t feel the need to undergo another procedure which isn’t a very nice experience.
My doctor did however do various followup blood tests a year later to ensure everything was back to normal now that I was on a strict gluten free diet. Before diagnosis I was anemic and my liver function levels were abnormal. There were other abnormalities too but I can’t remember all of the details. These followup blood tests showed that everything was back within the normal range.
Last year when I moved to the US and registered with a doctor here, she ran various blood tests during my physical, tests which are apparently normal to run on celiac patients. Everything came back within the normal range except my iron, which is still pretty low but not anemic low. (I take multi vitamins every day which seems to do the trick)
Recently a visit to the doc showed that my thyroid levels were low, as seems to be the case with many celiacs, and now I’m taking thyroxine every morning to try to get it back to normal. Are you being checked for this kind of thing, or perhaps other auto-immune related issues?
To what extent have you followed up after your celiac diagnosis?
Do you have annual blood tests to ensure your levels are within the ‘normal’ range?
Did you have a followup biopsy to ensure you are healing on your gluten free diet?
Do you have you vitamin/mineral levels checked to ensure everything is normal?
How do you know you are staying healthy? Do you judge your health on how you feel rather than what your blood results say?
I’d love to hear about your experiences of following up with your doctor after your celiac diagnosis. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below..