What type of doctor should I see if I have auto-immune disease?
My general doctor is clueless as to what my health problems are. I have had what people call fibromyalgia / CFS / Chronic Lyme for over 4 years now. It started shortly after allergy immunotherepy shots in spring 2006, so there is a chance that could have triggered it. I got a puffy face like cushing's for a while after that.
I think I need to see a rheumatologist and not an immunologist. I'm 4 months into treatment for lyme disease and considering being trated for th1 inflamatory disease on the marshal protocol and was considering seeing a rheumatologist for this. I already saw one a few months ago, and all my tests were negative, but i was at the cardiologist and they said one result from my general doctor looked like auto-immune.
I'm thinking of finding out what my test results are exactly and introducing the rheumatologist to the marshal protocol and see if any of those doctors would suspect pathogens the cause of auto-immune.
Problem is I'd have to give up my current lyme treatment, and I'm not sure.
I'm located in northern va / DC area. I need a doctor who is willing and able to think and reason.
A rheumatologist is certainly the way you want to go if auto-immune is a likelihood. Just do some research ahead of time and be aware that it can take months to get in to see a good rheumatologist. I always want to remind folks that not every doctor graduated at or near the top of his or her class. There are marginal students in medical school, just as in any field.
My first rheumy was a jerk and felt that sarcasm was a good substitute for answers. When he put me on prednisone he told me to stay out of the sun. As I had commitments at that time that required me to be outdoors for 8-10 hours at a time, I asked him what would happen if I went out in the sun and his answer was for me to try it and find out. NOT the sort of medical advise I wanted or needed. Just one of many reasons he WAS my rheumatologist.
So do your research and if your doctor is giving you non-answers or is reluctant to order tests that you feel you need, or is just generally unresponsive to your needs and your questions, fire him and find another doctor. Your health is too important to put in the hands of someone who is just going through the motions.
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