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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
Not sure where to put this as we don't really have a section for diagnosis, but it seems alot of parents are going this route so I'll put it here.

This is a followup on the recent article in the Globe and Mail about the waste of $$$ that is IgG testing. Just some more commentary on why IgG testing is complicating things for allergists, and leading to unnecessary dietary restrictions.

Please, if you see any pharmacists offering this testing, call them on it! I assure you, as one of them, most do not know that this testing is useless - it is being marketed to them from labs as a way to generate $$$ in the wake of major pharmacy cutbacks. Most do not understand the key difference between IgE and IgG (nor do the other types of practitioners offering this testing, including naturopaths).

http://www.startleddisbelief.com/2012/07/igg-proponents-test-my-patience.html

I know the wait lists for allergists are terribly long, and sometimes they cannot provide cut and dried answers ... but I can assure you that if IgG testing were actually useful, the allergists would be using it, not trying to convince the public not to... :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
Great article .... and good advice re our own pharmacists. :thumbsup

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 14
Tell me about the wait, whoa, that was a shock. Having lived much of my life in the US, a long wait for a very good allergist might be a month. Normally less. Here I went to the doctor in January - they booked a time for me (something I didn't know they did here, wasn't used to that) during my worst time of year, early July. I had to change it to November as everything else was booked up b the time I found out when they'd booked it for. I thought January was lots of lead time to get in before mid June (I would have gone sooner but I had just found a family doctor after three years of searching, frustrating too as I developed serious health issues aside from allergies during that time). The medical system badly, badly needs fixing, care is not available to those who need it whatsoever. Therefore, people have no choice but to try alternative methods, wait times of six months force you to do desperate things.

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My allergy story -- early/mid 30s male, allergic to tobacco (and cigarette smoke), grass, mold, weeds, cats, horses, cows (really!).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
frustratedallergic wrote:
The medical system badly, badly needs fixing, care is not available to those who need it whatsoever.


It depends upon where you live and which specialist you are referred. Urban, rural, the province, etc all impact your medical care.

For my child, she was in to see the Pediatrician the same day I called about a severe reaction; then to the Pediatric Allergist within a month; and subsequently, to the Pediatric Allergist a week after a reaction to nuts. Mine referral to an Allergist took about 5 months but my doctor did prescribe an epi-pen right away and given that my child has multiple food allergies I knew the signs of reaction etc.

My understanding is that there is a shortage of Allergists... We need new doctors to take up this speciality!

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 14
If you don't mind me asking, what province are you in? I'm told Ontario has the shortest wait times in the country but I also need a gastro specialist and the wait is six-plus months. And that's with severe pain, nights where I can't sleep from it, loss of blood, etc. It's a little scary to just sit and wait. Especially when a friend in the US has similar issues and has seen numerous specialists in that time, it's such a helpless feeling.

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My allergy story -- early/mid 30s male, allergic to tobacco (and cigarette smoke), grass, mold, weeds, cats, horses, cows (really!).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Manitoba.

A big difference, to me, is that in Canada you are not at high of risk of bankruptcy from medical needs. My brother in the states might lose his house because the costs for some of the chemo drugs are not covered by insurance and one is $5,000... Same happened to a friend in the US --- her community held a fundraiser to help them pay for medical costs for their child's leukemia. If everyone gets coverage and doesn't have to debate whether to see a doctor or not I'm in favour of waiting for the specialist. In my experience, when it is serious, you usually get to see the specialist more quickly.

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 14
I agree both systems have their issues. Another solution is needed in both countries, IMO. But it's hard for me to say much good about a system where it took me 2.5 years to find a family doctor and then had to wait six months for a specialist (I'd gone to several walk in clinics who told me I needed a specialist but had to go through a family doctor - then would typically give me a name of a doctor that wasn't taking patients anymore). In those three years, the issues went from routine to where day to day life is incredibly difficult, it scares me to think about what's happened in that three year wait time.

For me personally, I never had any insurance issues in the US and definitely received more thorough care at a much quicker speed. Yet I can't deny there was always a fear of what would happen if the insurance company decided not to cover something.

The biggest problem with the Canadian system is so many docs head to the US, so in reality, the reason the Canadian system doesn't work is the presence of the US system so close, and ironically that system doesn't work either!

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My allergy story -- early/mid 30s male, allergic to tobacco (and cigarette smoke), grass, mold, weeds, cats, horses, cows (really!).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
Frustrated, it is a good point re the wait times.
One trick- ask to be put on the waiting list for cancellations. Quite often there are some and you can get a quicker date. But you have to ask!

Some say there are almost too many allergists in the U.S., but here, even the allergists complain they aren't getting enough young recruits heading into the specialty. Not the case in all specialties.

Maybe we could woo some north. I mean, with global warming, it's not like winter's so bad anymore. :)

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 14
Funny thing is, I went to a young Canadian allergist in California. Lured by the money. Doctor's salaries are insane there. I definitely don't begrudge people making a good living or going for good money, but I had a friend who was die-hard Canadian and said she'd never leave once she got her medical degree. That was until she got a starting salary of $500,000 as a specialist in the US - probably five times what she'd make here. She lives in the US now as you might expect.

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My allergy story -- early/mid 30s male, allergic to tobacco (and cigarette smoke), grass, mold, weeds, cats, horses, cows (really!).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 1:49 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Westlock, Alberta
I'm with frustrated on this one - ridiculous wait times are exactly why people are desperate enough to seek solutions from alternative sources. When DD reacted to rice cereal with hives and projectile vomiting at 6 months we had a 1 month wait to get in to see our family doctor, followed by a 5 month wait for the referral to an allergist. A friend in the US had his son react to egg around the same time and was in to see an allergist in 1.5 weeks. I would gladly have paid to get answers and an epipen 6 months sooner.

We knew when DS broke out in a rash and started screaming non-stop at ~6 weeks that it must be something in my diet and after repeated visits to our family doctor over 2 months and finally getting a referral to a pediatrician (which had another month long wait) we were desperate for answers. Knowing that even if the pediatrician gave us an allergist referral we were still months away from seeing one, we went for alternative testing from a holistic practitioner at 4 months. By following her suggestions and eliminating the foods he tested positive for (I'm going to call them sensitivities instead of allergies) we had a brand new baby who was suddenly super happy and sleeping for 8-12 hours at night. We challenged a couple of the results and his symptoms returned each time.

When we finally got in to see the pediatrician I told him about our experience, fully expecting to be admonished or told it was useless. His response was very surprising. "I am neither foolish enough nor egotistical enough to insist that my way of medicine is the only way. If it is working for you, go with it." He said that if he had seen us a month earlier he would have thought it was reflux and given us an rx, but that if changing my diet had solved the problem then it clearly wasn't reflux.

Had we not tried alternative testing with great results I'm sure I would have dismissed it as useless as well, but it worked for us and sure beats the alternative of a screaming infant who doesn't sleep. We still don't know what to expect when we start solids and plan to take it very slowly, but in the meantime we have a happy home, which, in my opinion, is worth every penny we spent on the testing.

I just wanted weigh in with my point of view and personal experience.

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DD: 2.5 years old, allergic to milk, outgrown egg


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