Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and it's time to get things in order, pack up the winter clothes, do some cleaning - not a bad time to take stock of your health, too. How are your iron levels? Had your thyroid hormones checked recently? Have no idea what the heck I'm not talking about?! Perhaps a visit to the good folks at the Celiac Center at Columbia University is in order.

The Center is one of the first dedicated to the study of celiac disease and care of those living with the disease and its complications. As they state:

"Patient care is the main aim of the Center. Individualized patient care is managed by the Center and may include referrals to specialists in fields such as pediatric gastroenterology, hematology, dermatology, infertility, nutrition, metabolic bone disease, neurology, oncology and endocrinology."

I had a comprehensive visit with one of the doctors from the Center last year. We reviewed potential complications and the types of ongoing testing I'll need to have. She took a detailed medical history, gave me a very thorough exam, and ordered an extensive panel of blood tests and a DEXA scan. You can also schedule a visit with the Center's registered dietitian. I did not have a visit with her, but have heard from fellow patients that she is absolutely fantastic.

The Center also hosts events throughout the year, including a round-table discussion where staff are available to answer questions from the group and attendees can network to share venues and tips. I made it to one of these events (usually held every month or so) last year. It was well-attended, with about 30 of us there - and the Center had provided lovely GF eats too boot. The head of the Center, Dr. Green, was present - but the RD was unable to attend that session, a fact lamented by most of us.

The Center also has printed materials available on-site and via their website. I was given a copy of Dr. Green's book and their pocket guide at my first visit. That pocket guide, it has a CANDY SECTION (thank you, oh wise, wise Celiac Center folks) and is where I first learned that while original Milky Ways are not safe, the newer dark chocolate ones are. Frankly, the dark chocolate one is better anyway. (Though, anyone know if this has changed?)

Here's to a healthy, happy spring, all. (And safe candy!)

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