1

votes

Should I go to the Doctor? Why?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 12, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I think I might have some kind of autoimmune thing, but I've never been to a doctor. I'm considering going now, although many of the health issues I have/had are now greatly diminished or nonexistent - as long as i'm eating right. I'm definitely not 100% awesome yet though. I reckon I have a little more diet-tweaking to do and I realize that healing/recovery takes time, maybe years... I can deal with that. But would it not perhaps behoove me to know what I'm working with? I didn't even know how sick I was until I started getting better. I do realize that compared to many, I never had it THAT bad. I've gratefully never been obese or diabetic, for example.

How useful would it even be to get a diagnosis? Clearly my symptoms are mediated by my diet... it's not like I'm going to start taking Predisone or something. I'm not exactly a big fan of western model of disease/treatment, to understate my feelings.

Data interests me though -- I'd really like to see my CRP and thyroid numbers, I'd like to get tested for allergies, and of course I'm curious about my lipid levels, even if it doesn't matter. And a diagnosis -- well, I guess it would be somewhat validating? Lame, and true.

My main complaint now is intermittent but knock-down fatigue. Some residual jointy-achey stuff sometimes, too. But since I appear pretty healthy, I'm afraid I wouldn't be taken seriously by the clinician ("Oh, poor thing, she's tiiiiiired."). Btw, I'm uninsured and would be going to a community health clinic.

So should I make myself sick again, if I decide to go? I know just what to do/eat to cause a bunch of inflammatory symptoms that used to be normal (ew), like: psoriasis, arthritis, hives, cystic acne, edema, GI probs, PMDD, depression... but is it worth it? Also, theres a chance that even those symptoms won't warrant a serious investigation ("Here's some Zoloft and cortisone cream, go home and take some Advil" ) <--- actually that's pretty much what happened when I went onemillion years ago, in my 20s. Now I'm 40.

tl;dr: Is a medical diagnosis of disease/s that seem/s to be resolving through careful diet choices useful; and if so, should a person induce a relapse to get the diagnosis?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Thanks. I do not put the onus on "Paleo" for the fatigue or anything else -- I eat unprocessed food and don't call it anything. I've said before that I think you may have allergies you are unaware of. This might be part of my problem too.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 13, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Oh, yeah, dairy was really hard for me, too. A few undeniable bouts of being stuck in the bathroom all day made it easier to quit. As for the diagnosis being useful: I actually went paleo before I got diagnosed, and it made such a difference in how I felt that there was no turning back. Being diagnosed made it easier for me to be more insistent about restricting my foods, though, so that made it useful. Lately I've been struggling with cross-contamination, so I'm glad it's not something you have to worry about. I'm hoping that as I heal I won't have to worry about it, either.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:48 PM

In my case, yes. I have decades of results that have been relatively stable (and good) despite my history of weight ups-and-downs. I'd prefer to know if anything major is changing while it's still early. I check BP and BG routinely at home but obviously not cholesterol. It's always been under 150 unless I eat a lot of fat so I'm looking forward to see if I've gotten it to 180.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:46 PM

In my case, yes. I have decades of results that have been relatively stable (and good) despite my history of weight ups-and-downs. I'd prefer to know if anything major is changing while it's still early. I check BP and BG routinely at home but obviously not cholesterol.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:55 AM

but srsly folks, so it sounds like you are both saying that going to the dr is worthwhile for um, "blood work". which i guess is just some standard lab testing glucose/cholesterol and whatnot? yes?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:52 AM

aw shucks, i got cheap goods! they didn't even offer me a warranty. great.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:51 AM

@thhq LOL! My warranty expired decades ago.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:34 AM

You only get it with the extended warranty.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:07 AM

Oh, but back to the point of my post. Do you feel like your celiac diagnosis was useful? I mean, I guess you wouldn't have eliminated gluten without it, so that was big. But I've already done that. It's really disappointing to hear that they won't do the testing you want. Blerg.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Oh, but back to the point of my post. Do you feel like your celiac diagnosis was useful? I mean, I guess you wouldn't have eliminated gluten without it, so that was big. But I've already done that. Do you continue to see that Dr?.. And they won't even do the tests you want? That's really disappointing to hear. Blerg.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Good for you on your routine! Routines are something I've never mastered. I mean, I eliminated gluten, for sure. For a while I was obsessed with cross-contamination, but it turns out that that wasn't the ish after all, for me. I don't sweat cc now, and for that i am grateful. I do not willfully consume gluten though. Next to go is dairy, but ohhh that makes me sad. Cream in my coffee truly brings me joy. Maybe in January.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 13, 2011
at 12:59 AM

I hear ya! I've been working on it for a few weeks but keep finding little things that have trace amounts of gluten, like the vinegar I was using. If you find a group of foods that you really like, though, I think it's easier. I love my elimination diet routine enough that it doesn't feel like a burden to keep at it/restart. Keep with it and good luck!

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 12, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Fair enough. I've incurred a lot of debt seeing alternative docs.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:24 PM

12 pt maintenance visit? what is this you speak of? i'm new. to earth.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:18 PM

Thanks Sara. I am gluten intolerant, doubtfully celiac -- i don't get acute symptoms from gluten, it's more of a slow build. I'm acutely intolerant to most fermented foods and aged cheese - I think it's a yeast allergy, but I'd like to be tested. Took me a while to figure that one out. I used to drink kombucha daily - can't do that now! There are probably other allergies. I tend to think there's an allergy <--> leaky-gut connection, which leads to autoimmunity. I struggle with food-elimination trials - i always end up with confounding factors, boo! I lack discipline! One of these days....

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:12 PM

Thanks Sara. I am gluten intolerant, doubtfully celiac -- i don't get acute symptoms from gluten, it's more of a slow build. I'm acutely intolerant to most fermented foods and aged cheese - I think it's a yeast allergy, but I'd like to be tested. Took me a while to figure that one out. I used to drink kombucha daily. There are probably other allergies. I tend to think there's an allergy<->leaky-gut, connection which then leads to autoimmunity. I struggle with food-elimination trials - i always end up with confounding factors! I lack the discipline! One of these days..

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:01 PM

I go to the doctor when there's something wrong, as when I cut myself on a rusty cable and needed a tetanus shot. Besides that I go in for the annual 12 point maintenance visit. One of those visits caught diabetes, so definitely not a waste of time.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 08:35 PM

How about it? Sounds great. I'm broke.

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4 Answers

2
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 12, 2011
at 08:53 PM

Over 4 or 5 years I'd go to my health care provider with complaints of fatigue. Each time they ran some standard blood tests, nutritional panel, metabolic panel, vitamin D, etc. Each time, my results came back within the reference range, and the doctor was stumped. The first one told me to eat either more or less.

Finally, this last time, the doctor thought to check for celiac disease (though she refused to check into better thyroid tests, corisol, CRP, or hormones), and it came back positive. I'd love to go see a functional medicine doctor (MD), because like you I'd love to see some real data, but the consult alone for me would cost $550.

If you find yourself getting better with diet changes, but find yourself slipping here and there, it could be that you have celiac disease or some other gluten sensitivity, and you could be reacting to very trace amounts. I kept feeling better then worse then better, and I am finding that it correlates with eating foods that may contain trace amounts of gluten... foods that have no gluten ingredients, but are made on equipment that sees gluten (even with thorough cleaning in between).

It's also possible you have food allergies to something other than wheat. Have you already tried an elimination diet? It's probably the most accurate test for allergies.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Good for you on your routine! Routines are something I've never mastered. I mean, I eliminated gluten, for sure. For a while I was obsessed with cross-contamination, but it turns out that that wasn't the ish after all, for me. I don't sweat cc now, and for that i am grateful. I do not willfully consume gluten though. Next to go is dairy, but ohhh that makes me sad. Cream in my coffee truly brings me joy. Maybe in January.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:18 PM

Thanks Sara. I am gluten intolerant, doubtfully celiac -- i don't get acute symptoms from gluten, it's more of a slow build. I'm acutely intolerant to most fermented foods and aged cheese - I think it's a yeast allergy, but I'd like to be tested. Took me a while to figure that one out. I used to drink kombucha daily - can't do that now! There are probably other allergies. I tend to think there's an allergy <--> leaky-gut connection, which leads to autoimmunity. I struggle with food-elimination trials - i always end up with confounding factors, boo! I lack discipline! One of these days....

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Oh, but back to the point of my post. Do you feel like your celiac diagnosis was useful? I mean, I guess you wouldn't have eliminated gluten without it, so that was big. But I've already done that. Do you continue to see that Dr?.. And they won't even do the tests you want? That's really disappointing to hear. Blerg.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:12 PM

Thanks Sara. I am gluten intolerant, doubtfully celiac -- i don't get acute symptoms from gluten, it's more of a slow build. I'm acutely intolerant to most fermented foods and aged cheese - I think it's a yeast allergy, but I'd like to be tested. Took me a while to figure that one out. I used to drink kombucha daily. There are probably other allergies. I tend to think there's an allergy<->leaky-gut, connection which then leads to autoimmunity. I struggle with food-elimination trials - i always end up with confounding factors! I lack the discipline! One of these days..

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 13, 2011
at 12:59 AM

I hear ya! I've been working on it for a few weeks but keep finding little things that have trace amounts of gluten, like the vinegar I was using. If you find a group of foods that you really like, though, I think it's easier. I love my elimination diet routine enough that it doesn't feel like a burden to keep at it/restart. Keep with it and good luck!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:07 AM

Oh, but back to the point of my post. Do you feel like your celiac diagnosis was useful? I mean, I guess you wouldn't have eliminated gluten without it, so that was big. But I've already done that. It's really disappointing to hear that they won't do the testing you want. Blerg.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 13, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Oh, yeah, dairy was really hard for me, too. A few undeniable bouts of being stuck in the bathroom all day made it easier to quit. As for the diagnosis being useful: I actually went paleo before I got diagnosed, and it made such a difference in how I felt that there was no turning back. Being diagnosed made it easier for me to be more insistent about restricting my foods, though, so that made it useful. Lately I've been struggling with cross-contamination, so I'm glad it's not something you have to worry about. I'm hoping that as I heal I won't have to worry about it, either.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 12, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Sadly I feel conventional health care accidentally does too many things wrong because of the research/subsidy bias toward SAD/drugs so I don't think we should involve them unless we're in danger that clearly calls for intervention.

I'm also uninsured at present so my answer is skewed by that I assume. I'd only go to a healthcare professional right now if I had urgent symptoms that indicated a need for antibiotics or possible surgery.

When I had insurance (and when Medicare kicks in in February) I will go at least occasionally to have funny moles looked at and to get blood work. That doesn't mean I'd automatically fill prescriptions or start eating "healthy" if you know what I mean.

For things that this lifestyle seems to be handling, I'd wait to see if it actually goes away completely or perhaps rebounds back to more serious--things do move in both directions, you know.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:24 PM

12 pt maintenance visit? what is this you speak of? i'm new. to earth.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:52 AM

aw shucks, i got cheap goods! they didn't even offer me a warranty. great.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:55 AM

but srsly folks, so it sounds like you are both saying that going to the dr is worthwhile for um, "blood work". which i guess is just some standard lab testing glucose/cholesterol and whatnot? yes?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:51 AM

@thhq LOL! My warranty expired decades ago.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:48 PM

In my case, yes. I have decades of results that have been relatively stable (and good) despite my history of weight ups-and-downs. I'd prefer to know if anything major is changing while it's still early. I check BP and BG routinely at home but obviously not cholesterol. It's always been under 150 unless I eat a lot of fat so I'm looking forward to see if I've gotten it to 180.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:34 AM

You only get it with the extended warranty.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 12, 2011
at 09:01 PM

I go to the doctor when there's something wrong, as when I cut myself on a rusty cable and needed a tetanus shot. Besides that I go in for the annual 12 point maintenance visit. One of those visits caught diabetes, so definitely not a waste of time.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:46 PM

In my case, yes. I have decades of results that have been relatively stable (and good) despite my history of weight ups-and-downs. I'd prefer to know if anything major is changing while it's still early. I check BP and BG routinely at home but obviously not cholesterol.

1
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on December 12, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I sympathize with everything you say 100%, I know exactly where you're coming from. I'm paleo which has ceased so many things that I don't even want to mention, but like you said, this knock out fatigue is the downside to paleo. The only thing doctors can do is to give you a diagnosis, so you can tell others what's wrong with you and get actual recognition for the pain you go through. However, when doctors aren't in a detective mood, they will just say you're depressed, and then the world thinks you are just weak.

I'm not sure why fatigue usually isn't fully cured on Paleo. Also, for me its a lack of excitability with Paleo, but I am more stable, so it's a trade off, but I miss being excited about things. The best answer out there is simple, eat more carbs, usually sweet potatoes, and the fatigue will get better, but you'll probably be more mentally foggy, at least that's how it goes with me.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Thanks. I do not put the onus on "Paleo" for the fatigue or anything else -- I eat unprocessed food and don't call it anything. I've said before that I think you may have allergies you are unaware of. This might be part of my problem too.

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 12, 2011
at 08:23 PM

I don't think you should have to punish yourself to get a proper diagnosis. How about consulting a naturopath or a doctor of functional medicine who would be more inclined to run tests and find answers?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on December 12, 2011
at 08:35 PM

How about it? Sounds great. I'm broke.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 12, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Fair enough. I've incurred a lot of debt seeing alternative docs.

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