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1st time seeing a gastroenterologist tomorrow. Help please

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#1 greypilgrim256


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Posted 14 October 2014 - 11:30 AM

So tomorrow will be the first time I've ever been to a gastroenterologist.  I am going because my GERD/digestion issues are one of the worst symptoms I currently have.  I had been having some swallowing dificulties too, but Prilosec for a month has helped a bit.


Just asking for any advice/questions I can ask the doc. 


Since I have been diagnosed with MCTD, which is an overlap of Sclero/Lupus/Myositis  I have the following:


First and foremost, has he treated anyone with Sclero  or other autoimmune diseases.


1) Nightshade family:  What is their impact on lupus/autoimmune diseases,  (I have largely been avoiding them for about 2 months....ate a tomato this weekend just to see how it would go and my tongue has ulcers on it now. Not fun)


2) What are the adverse effects of long term prilosec/Proton Pump inhibiotors


3) Are probiotics ok?  Are they bad?  Good? 


4) What supplements are ok/avoid?

#2 miocean


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Posted 14 October 2014 - 03:00 PM

If you have previous studies like a colonoscopy or endoscopy it would be helpful to have a copy of the reports for the doctor. If not, he most likely will want to do these because they are the typical diagnostic tests performed by GI doctors.


Other GI tests I've had were a Barium Swallow to see how my esophagus is working, a 24 hour PH Test with Manometry to see when I have reflux and whether it is alkaline or acidic, and a Hydrogen Breath Test to see if I have an overgrowth of bacteria in my small intestine. Some of these tests I had as part of a screening for a lung transplant.


I found a new GI doctor this past year when I needed the 24 hour PH Test and she happens to know a lot about scleroderma as she almost went into rheumatology before deciding on gastroenterology. She is the one who suggested the Hydrogen Breath test and I did test positive of the overgrowth which wias treated with antibiotics. 


Since this doctor is new to you make sure you feel comfortable with him before agreeing to any of the invasive tests. Most doctors are not nutritionists and the questions you ask about diet he might not be able to answer to your satisfaction. You might want to see if you have coverage to see a nutritionist to help with dietary issues.


I hope this helps and good luck! I hope you find a good doctor on the first try.



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#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 02:21 PM

Hello Greypilgrim


My first question would do I need an endoscopy to see exactly what is happening? What medication can I have to manage my symptoms and what are the side effects long term so I can make an informed choice? What can I do to help manage my symptoms including probiotics? 


If the answers are hoaky or dismissive, how many MCTD/scleroderma patients do they have, can I see someone else?


I have to say I would initially home in on the symptoms because you only have a certain amount of time and attention.


Take care.

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