Why do I need a diagnosis?

I read this a lot. I used to think it was unimportant. Now, I’m not so sure.

Having celiac disease means a lifelong gluten free diet. Right now there are no medicines or any other cure, just a major lifestyle change. But I broke my toe a couple of days ago. I dropped a serving platter on it. I have a hairline fracture. Also, there was a major bruise under my toenail pushing it up and removing my toenail from the bed. It was exceptionally painful. I think I could stand the broken toe, but the bruise under the nail was excruciating.

I had to go to the podiatrist to get it addressed. I had never met this doctor before and was an “emergency” type patient. They asked, “Have you been diagnosed by a doctor with any autoimmune diseases?” The phrasing of the question is what got to me.

Now, my celiac disease will not affect how my toe heals. Could my toe break be due to problems with my bones by early osteopenia or osteoporosis? Could, but luckily not in my case. But it might affect medicines prescribed or other parts of my body, but it probably won’t affect my toe healing.

These are the situations why getting a proper diagnosis is important. Yes, in most people’s day to day life, having celiac disease will only affect what they eat. As time moves on, changes will happen. Drugs will be available. Doctors will know more and more about this disease and how it can affect other parts of our bodies. Autoimmunity will be better understood. Today a diagnosis might seem silly, but moving forward it can change a lot.

So, please get a diagnosis. And get a proper diagnosis from a gastroenterologist with blood tests and biopsy. If blood test and biopsy disagree, keep searching for a solution. It might be that it is celiac or maybe it isn’t but you need to find out for sure.

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