When To Get a Second Opinion

Wise words from Thomas Edison. You can get this poster @ behappy.me

I’ve been a bit concerned about the relationship between Interstitial Lung Disease and Methotrexate over the last couple weeks (yet trying not to worry, because worrying leads to flares which leads to more of a chance of RA complications…ha! FML!).

I will still talk to my primary rheumatologist about this on Tuesday, but in the meantime, I’ve decided to seek a second opinion. This wasn’t as easy a choice as it may sound. It felt like I was choosing to cheat on my rheumatologist and giving up on my treatment plan. As I told my friend, my relationship with my rheumatologist is something I want to be sensitive too – he might be in my life for many years to come!

I started by going to my allergist, who also happens to be a respected immunology expert. Up until 2008, I was seeing him once a year for checkups on my recovery from Interstitial Lung Disease. In many ways, he knows my medical history better than I do.

He told me that there is indeed a link between Methotrexate and ILD, and recommended I get a second opinion at a research hospital that specializes in lung disease. They also happen to have rheumatologists who specialize in both ILD and autoimmune diseases. Cool.

Turns out these docs are also in more demand than my current rheumy. I need a referral to even have a chance of seeing one. This left me with the choice of getting that referral from my rheumatologist or from my primary doctor (who I haven’t seen in years because I have another OB/GYN). I chose my primary doc so as not to shake the boat on my relationship with my rheumy. This choice, of course, requires yet another doctor’s appointment (yippee! – where is that sarcasm font when you need it?).

A couple other things of interest came up at my appointment as well.

My doctor said that, given my medical history, he doesn’t think it is likely that I have gluten or dairy allergies or sensitivities. He recommended just eating healthfully and focusing on eating for my marathon training.

I don’t think this means that I will run out and eat gluten again (I’ve already eased up a bit on the dairy), but maybe I’ll think about being more flexible. I also still believe that eating to lower inflammation in my body is a very positive thing I can do to help control my symptoms. My doc is very science-based (as he should be), so until a trustworthy study comes out showing how diet can ease/cure/whatever RA, I think he will be giving this advice.

I ate lunch with my family yesterday and mentioned this, as well as the idea that perhaps GMOs, pesticides and all the other industrial crap that’s made its way into our food supply was more responsible for the rise in gluten intolerance and autoimmune diseases than gluten itself. My brother-in-law and sister’s reaction made me feel like a social pariah. I plan on doing more research on this and posting it here, but I’m certainly not the first person to state this theory, so I don’t believe it’s totally off target… Does anyone have thoughts on this? Or good articles I can forward to my sister??

My doctor provided me with a list of websites that he likes to use for research because they are entirely science-based:

I hope this list helps everyone as you do your own research and become your own advocate for your health.

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  1. #1 by medicine for dogs on February 11, 2013 - 12:38 am

    If to talk about diets. At firts you have to stop eating fast food, if you used to eat it. And after that you can research doctors links and begin any diets

  2. #2 by Sasha on February 11, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    No shocker here, but I back you. Although there aren’t a multitude of studies out there to back it up, there have been a few. Along with the growing number of people that have sites telling about how they do just as you and see a change. I don’t have an allergy either, but I know when I have certain inflammatory foods I flare. I only have my personal experience to go off of, but it’s clear for me. I think we can all be different. For me gluten, corn, and sugar tend to put me down and out within a day. I’m with you. As long I’m feeling good and my training is going good, I’ll need something pretty substantial to get me to go back to eating it.

    • #3 by My RAD Life on February 13, 2013 - 7:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing this. It’s really good to hear from people who have gotten results from diet. My results are shaky at best, so it’s very easy to talk myself out of the benefits! I think I’m going to stick with a no gluten, very low dairy/red meat, high veggie/omega 3 diet. It just feels good to know that I’m doing something on my end, and not just relying on the drugs.

  1. Should I Move On? | My RAD Life

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