If you’re ‘lucky’ to have had an official celiac diagnosis, do you feel as though you have received adequate follow-up from your doctor?
Follow-up care is important for testing for t-TG antibodies, ensuring vitamin and mineral levels are normal and anything that tested abnormally prior to diagnosis has gone back within the normal range. It’s also important to ensure that patients are sticking to and coping with their strict gluten free diet. Recent research suggests that the follow-up care celiac patients are receiving is often inadequate and inconsistent.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota collected data on 122 patients with biopsy diagnosed celiac disease between 1996 and 2006 to look at what kind of follow-up, if at all, they received between 6 months and 5 years after diagnosis. Patients were classified according to how the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) categorizes follow-up procedures.
From 1 to 5 years after diagnosis, the number of people receiving follow-up appointments decreased each year. Of the 113 patients who were followed up for more than 4 years, only a third of them received follow-up to the level recommended by the AGA.
Personally, I received a follow-up one year after my diagnosis. I had bloods done to check my iron levels and liver function were back to normal but I’ve never been tested for antibodies or had my vitamin and mineral levels checked. Three years into my diagnosis I don’t get any kind of follow-up at all.
What kind of follow-up did you receive after your diagnosis? Do you receive adequate check-ups or are you left to cope with it on your own?