Uncategorized

You Can Be Free of IBS for Life!

home-image-3Dr Wangen has been free of his IBS for 20 years and that’s his goal for every patient that comes into the IBS Treatment Center. Read Dr. Wangen’s IBS story. Most of our patients have sought treatment from other doctors with poor outcomes. Don’t give up. We have had success with patients who went to top clinics such as Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic but didn’t find help there. Some patients need just a few appointments to completely resolve their IBS issues.

We work with patients from all across the US and around the world, so don’t let your busy schedule or frequent travel discourage you from getting the answers – and results – you deserve. The IBS specialists at our clinic will determine the cause of your IBS and focus treatment on the underlying issue so you can be IBS-free for life.

Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

rssyoutube

ibs misconceptions#1 – What is IBS?

The biggest of the IBS misconceptions defines a specific medical condition. IBS is, by definition, just a group of symptoms affecting the digestive tract that haven’t been explained. Unlike cancer, a stroke, or the flu, IBS is more of a starting point than a diagnosis, because it doesn’t provide any new information.

Once a person has the symptoms it is necessary to do additional testing to identify the cause of those symptoms – what you might call an actual diagnosis. Once you have an actual diagnosis, then you can treat whatever it is that causes the symptoms and usually stop them.

#2 – The Causes of IBS?

A second common misconception is that IBS is only caused by one thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. The digestive tract is very complicated, but can only display a limited range of symptoms. There are many things that can cause constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, etc. Any individual might have one or more of the causes at any one time.

There is a wide range of causes of IBS and many patients have more than one cause, sometimes several causes, at the same time. For example, many patients have an allergy to a food, which causes them to have IBS symptoms. But not all IBS patients have food allergies. Many patients have bacterial or microbial issues, for example, not enough of the needed digestive bacteria are living in their digestive tract. But not all IBS patients have bacterial issues either. Some patients have food allergies, bacterial/microbial issues, and other factors. To correctly diagnose the cause of IBS symptoms it is necessary to test for a range of potential causes. If you don’t treat all of the conditions you have, your IBS probably won’t be resolved.

#3 – How to Treat IBS

The third misconception is that there is a single treatment for IBS. This misunderstanding goes along with the previous misconception- that there is only one cause. The reason that there isn’t a single treatment for IBS is that there isn’t a single cause.

If all IBS were caused by dairy allergies, treatment would be simple – don’t eat dairy products. But because there are many, sometimes overlapping causes, there will never be a single simple treatment for IBS symptoms.

#4 – Stress & IBS

Lastly, but perhaps the most common misconception is that IBS is caused by stress. If this were true the world would be full of IBS patients. We see patients all the time that have been told by their doctor that stress is the problem, but once we identify the cause and treat it, the symptoms are resolved. What is even more interesting is that many patients report that while they had IBS symptoms they also had a heightened sense of anxiety, but that it went away when they treated their condition.

That is not to say that stress can’t make IBS worse. Stress can affect the immune system and that can impact IBS symptoms. But stress is usually not the underlying cause of the symptoms.

The IBS specialists at our clinic will determine the cause of your IBS and focus treatment on the underlying issue so you can be IBS-free for life. Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

rssyoutube
IBS Symptoms Vary From Person to Person

symptoms of ibsThe biggest misconception is that IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) defines a specific medical condition. IBS is, by definition, just a group of symptoms affecting the digestive tract that haven’t been explained. Unlike cancer, a stroke, or the flu, IBS is more of a starting point than a diagnosis, because it doesn’t provide any new information.

Once a person has the symptoms it is necessary to do additional testing to identify the cause of those symptoms – what you might call an actual diagnosis. Once you have an actual diagnosis, then you can treat whatever it is that causes the symptoms and usually stop them.

CAUSES OF IBS

A second common misconception is that IBS is only caused by one thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The digestive tract is very complicated, but can only display a limited range of symptoms. There are many things that can cause constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, etc. Any individual might have one or more of the causes at any one time.

There is a wide range of causes of IBS and many patients have more than one cause, sometimes several causes, at the same time. For example, many patients have an allergy to a food, which causes them to have IBS symptoms. But not all IBS patients have food allergies. Many patients have bacterial or microbial issues, for example, not enough of the needed digestive bacteria are living in their digestive tract. But not all IBS patients have bacterial issues either.

Some patients have food allergies, bacterial/microbial issues, and other factors. To correctly diagnose the cause of IBS symptoms it is necessary to test for a range of potential causes. If you don’t treat all of the conditions you have, your IBS probably won’t be resolved.

The IBS specialists at our clinic will determine the cause of your IBS and focus treatment on the underlying issue so you can be IBS-free for life. Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

rssyoutube

staff2Bruce loves the holidays. And he dreads them, too.

Every year, Bruce gets anxious about the trip to visit his family for the holidays. Will he get there without an embarrassing incident? Will the drive be miserable because of his constant worry of finding a bathroom when he urgently needs one?

And then there is the problem of what to eat while he’s away from home. Family dinners and fancy restaurants are supposed to be fun, but Bruce can never be sure if they will end well. While catching up, reminiscing, and joking with loved ones, the thoughts in the back of his mind are about whether he’ll have a sudden need to rush to the bathroom and if it will be available when he is desperate.

Bruce doesn’t want to be rude by being picky about what goes on his plate, but it’s hard to tell which dishes will trigger an episode. Plus, dining at restaurants always seems to bring out the worst in Bruce’s digestion issues. He can’t figure out why restaurant food should be worse on his digestive tract than a home-cooked meal, but it often causes him problems. The unpredictability of dining out is stressful for Bruce.

For years, Bruce’s doctors told him that being anxious makes his irritable bowel condition worse. For many people, it’s actually the other way around.

It would be easier for Bruce if he just stayed home alone. But no one should have to forsake the holidays because of digestive problems. Your friends and family are an important part of your life and it is especially nice to be with them at this time of the year.

Fortunately, Bruce has developed some tactics that make the holidays less nerve-wracking and more enjoyable.

Here are 7 tips to help you not only survive, but actually enjoy the holiday season.

1. Shop For Gifts Online

You can get just about anything online these days. And what better way to relieve the anxiety of venturing out than by getting all your shopping done from home? This is an easy one that can make a big difference.

2. Get a Bathroom App

Your smart phone is smarter than you think. It can locate the nearest bathroom just about anywhere you are, and you can read reviews about its cleanliness and comfort ahead of time. This is great for planning your travel route and will help you feel more confident on the road. And while you’re sitting there, why not add your own review? It’s better than scratching your favorite prose on the stall wall! Some of the most popular apps for both Androids and iPhones are Toilet Finder, SitOrSquat (by Charmin®), and Flushd.

3. Be a Giver

This works if you already have some idea about how to manage your diet to minimize your episodes of bowel distress by managing your diet. When it comes to dinner parties, bring or prepare a dish or two that you know won’t
cause you problems. And make it tasty so everyone will enjoy it. You don’t need to tell them your dish is special or different. Just tell them it’s something you wanted to share.

4. Eat Before You Go

This is a simple and effective idea that can make the difference between feeling good and rushing out of the
party. If you know what is safe for you to eat, then eating ahead of time will help with two problems. First, you’ll be more confident about venturing out of the house. Second, you will already be full so you won’t be as tempted to consume other things that could cause you trouble.

5. Research the Restaurant

Once you know where you’ll be dining, call ahead to find out what your options will be. Can they accommodate a
special request if you ask for a modification of a menu item? Or can they make you something that would suit you better? Even looking at the menu online before you go can help you plan. Doing a bit of research means you won’t have to ask your server as many questions to learn about your options, and you won’t have to work as hard to communicate your needs.

6. Be the Host

Hosting the party allows you to control all the variables. You decide what food is available. Your own, comfortable bathroom is nearby. You don’t have to travel anywhere. And it’s fun! Invite your friends and relatives over and enjoy the
holidays by relaxing at home.

7. Decorate Your Bathroom

Yes, you read that right. If you’re going to be spending some extended time there, why not make it more
festive? Put something fun in the loo to commemorate the season.

rssyoutube

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist IBSSince 2005 the IBS Treatment Center has successfully treated thousands of patients of all ages, from infants to seniors. We understand the discomfort, frustration and embarrassment you have experienced. A part of this treatment process includes offering nutritional support following your appointment at our clinic.

Becky Rajcich is a state and nationally certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and graduated with honors with a degree in Science of Nutrition from Bastyr University. She provides services as a nutritionist (dietitian). Becky’s food philosophy is that everyone has the right to eat food that supports their bodies and tastes good, and her expertise is in helping patients with food allergies and intolerances.

Becky specializes in taking challenging nutritional needs that can be overwhelming and breaking them down into simple, practical plans that can be incorporated into everyday life. She also is skilled at working with other dietary needs such as diabetes, weight loss, weight gain, disordered eating, low bone density, anemia, and other issues, integrating them with any food allergy or intolerance restrictions.

As an endurance runner, Becky discovered her own digestive issues and the importance of identifying ways to work with food that promote quality of life. She brings compassion and commitment to her work with patients and finds joy in helping with them to get through nutrition challenges.

In her spare time Becky enjoys running, reading, cooking, and recipe hunting; and she loves spending quality time with her husband, young son, dog, cat, and chickens.

Becky is located in our Seattle office but can work with any of our patients via phone. To schedule an appointment with her please contact our office at 206-264-1111 or schedule an appointment online.

rssyoutube

staff2From a recent patient of the IBS Treatment Center.

In 1990 I was diagnosed as having either Crohns disease or IBS. They were not sure which. Regardless, it took a serious toll on my health and on my liver.

I was treated with some drugs and after a long period of suffering, it subsided.

In September of 2014 I began to have reoccurring symptoms. It started out with some abdominal pain, then quickly moved to 2 minute warnings to find a bathroom about 10-15 times a day.

Horrible to say the least. I went to the same doctor that had treated me previously and I was put on the same regimen of sulfa drugs and PREDNISONE.

I continued to get worse, so the prednisone was increased more and more as were other drugs like Pentasa. I still had no relief.

Now the doctor was talking about suppressing my Immune system with a Imuran, and if that failed Humera was discussed.

About a month earlier I had watched an interview on TV with Doctor Wangen and a female patient. She was describing all the symptoms that I was having and the terrible change in lifestyle that goes with it. I related.

I had told my Gastroenterologist that I felt there had to be some CAUSE for what was happening to me.  The answer was always “This just happens sometimes we don’t know why”. Next stop, more powerful drugs.

I made the decision to call the IBS center. I made an appointment and I am so grateful that I did.  After suffering for about 6 months I finally went into the IBS clinic … in March of 2015.

I didn’t write this email right away because I wanted to see what the long term results would be.  My Gastro doc AND the liver doc were “skeptical.”  The Gastro doc and liver doc only know how to treat symptoms. Its the old saying “To a carpenter, everything is a nail”. They use drugs.

For the most part, I feel cured.  I cant even imagine what drugs I would be on now, or what new side effects I would be dealing with, instead of going to Crossfit 4 times a week and feeling damn good again. Just feeling normal feels good.

JPM

rssyoutube

staff2We all experience embarrassing moments and “Why me?” moments. As doctors at the IBS Treatment Center, We’ve heard more than a few tales of unpleasant situations. Yet, there is one patient’s story that sticks out—not because of the embarrassing events, but because of the serendipitously happy outcome.

Lindsay’s IBS story begins in high school. During those years, she passed off her discomfort as generic stomach pains that seemed to strike at random.

Although her pain kept her home from school some days, she didn’t really mind missing classes in exchange for a day on the couch. And she certainly didn’t think her pain was a sign of anything serious because it passed after a day or so and only occurred every couple months. Everyone has unexplained stomach pains sometimes, right? That’s what her family doctor told her anyways.

Then Lindsay moved away from home and into a college dorm where cafeteria meals and vending machine snacks replaced her Mom’s home cooking. She still had days when stomach pain prevented her from attending class, but it didn’t seem any more frequent than before. Besides, her change in diet could easily explain occasional bouts with digestive problems.

But then things started to get more serious. Her stomach pains became more common and lasted longer than before. She often had to run to the bathroom with little warning, which was different from when she lived at home.

Lindsay visited the campus medical clinic but the doctors there didn’t offer much helpful advice. They recommended she get more sleep and eat better.

Severe IBS attacks always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times and places, don’t they? But we can’t think of much worse timing for a freshman than on a first date.

Lindsay met Sam in their American Literary History class. When each student was asked to select a playwright to study, Sam and Lindsay both chose Eugene O’Neill. It wasn’t until the first semester came close to an end that Sam mustered up the courage to ask Lindsay out on a date. When he heard Strange Interlude would be performed at the local theater, it seemed like the perfect excuse.

They went to dinner first at a Thai restaurant, a first for Lindsay. The atmosphere was perfect; the lights were dim, the music was upbeat, and the conversation flowed effortlessly. Lindsay felt particularly adventurous and ordered a dish she couldn’t even pronounce. It was a bit spicier than what she normally opted for, but it tasted good and she washed it down with plenty of water.

While waiting for dessert to arrive, Lindsay’s stomach began to feel a bit “off.” She hoped it was butterflies or nerves, but feared it was due to the spicy dish. The butterfly sensation quickly progressed to mild cramps and she eventually had no choice but to excuse herself from the table. By the time she returned, Sam had already paid the bill and was outside anxiously waiting for her because they were now running late for the play.

Once they arrived at the theater, they discovered almost everyone else was seated already, which meant they had to make their way to their seats (in the middle of the row, of course) by excusing themselves and apologizing the whole way.

Lindsay still felt unwell. If she were back at her dorm, this would be one of those times when she wouldn’t stray too far from the washroom. But here she was, in the middle of a quiet theater on a first date with someone she found to be interesting, funny, and very kind.

The curtains rose and the play began. Sweat began to form on Lindsay’s brow. Ten minutes into the first scene, Lindsay needed to use the bathroom again but remained in her chair trying to will away her cramps. Then came the gurgling noises. You know the ones we’re talking about. The loud noises that tell you and everyone around you that things inside are on the move. She could wait no longer. Lindsay told Sam she would be right back, stood up, and made her way down the row as fast as she could, apologizing again to each person she passed. She ran as fast as she could to the nearest bathroom where she stayed quite a while, sobbing with embarrassment until the emergency passed.

When Lindsay emerged from the bathroom, it didn’t seem as though she could ever face Sam again. She slowly made her way towards the main doors of the theater with her head down. Stepping outside, the cool air felt nice on her skin and she looked up for the first time. Lindsay stopped dead in her tracks. Sam was standing there in front of her, looking concerned. “Are you ok?” he asked. She nodded as he took her hand.

Sam hailed a cab and got into it with her, then asked the driver to take them to her dormitory. During the ride, Sam told Lindsay something that changed her life for the better.

rssyoutube

Dr. Stephen WangenParasites are a known cause of IBS.

Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, cramps, nausea, poor digestion, fatigue, muscle aches, bleeding, rectal itching, abdominal pain.

Parasites cannot live without you. You provide them living space and food, but unlike friendly bacteria, parasites do nothing for you in return. They only act against you.

They vary in size from the very tiny, which can be seen only under a microscope, to inches long. Some can find their way into just about any area of the body, but most are found only in the digestive tract. The severity of your symptoms and the amount of damage they cause varies depending on the parasite involved, the number of parasites, and the level of resistance your body has.

Parasites damage the body in a number of ways, by absorbing nutrients that you need and by directly damaging your digestive tract; and, if they are capable of migrating, possibly damaging other areas of your body as well. They often reproduce rapidly and by the thousands, and are easily spread to other people. Unfortunately, a strong population of good bacteria does little to protect you from parasites.

Parasites are more common than generally believed. Although most Americans consider them to be a Third-World problem, they infect millions of Americans – even those who never leave the country or drink from mountain streams (a common source of the parasite Giardia). We live in a global community. Parasites enter this country every day through the importation of contaminated foods and seemingly innocent products such as clay pottery. It is true that many common parasites are native to the tropics, where it is warm and humid. But the fruits and vegetables we import from these warm countries can be a source of parasitic contamination, affecting every area of the United States. However, because of the misperception that parasites are not an American problem, they have often been overlooked as a possible cause of digestive illnesses.

Entamoeba hystolytica, a relatively common parasite, infects up to 50 million people worldwide each year, and results in up to 100,000 deaths. In Dhaka, Bangladesh, approximately 50% of children have signs of exposure to this parasite by age five.

Closer to home, one of the largest recorded outbreaks of a waterborne parasitic infestation occurred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1993. The city’s water supply became contaminated with the parasite Cryptosporidium, which causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea. Over 400,000 people became ill; 4,000 were hospitalized and over 100 died. Although Milwaukee’s water was treated with chlorine, chlorine doesn’t kill Cryptosporidium.

The possibility of parasites must be considered when assessing the cause of your IBS. A parasite infection can usually be diagnosed by specialized testing, and is usually readily treatable.

rssyoutube

(creativecommons)
(creativecommons)

In the third grade I remember complaining constantly about having stomach aches and was actually put on anti-anxiety medication.

I have struggled with this throughout my 52 years. Things really got bad about 6 years ago when I started having severe stomach aches along with bloating and large, really smelly bowel movements.

After having every test known to man, with no serious problems found, I was diagnosed with IBS. I started feeling depressed, withdrawn, tired and sick ALL THE TIME.

A friend told me I should go to the IBS Treatment Center. I called the next day and made an appointment. One of the best decisions I have ever made! Thank you, I LOVE YOU!!!!

– Susan Weir (cured patient from the IBS Treatment Center)

It has been interesting to see over the years the variety of symptoms that can be caused by food allergies. One of those symptoms often triggered by food allergies is anxiety.

The interesting part is not that people are anxious because they have symptoms caused by a food allergy, which would be expected if you had something like unpredictable or painful bowel habits. The interesting part is that the food allergy itself is triggering the anxiety.

We saw two recent cases of this which reminded us of the impact that food allergies have on our entire health, both physically and emotionally. These patients, one male and one female, were both suffering from a combination of food allergies which were only detectable on IgG food allergy testing. (This is not the kind of testing that you can get from an allergist.)

Once these foods were removed from their diet, these patients began to heal in a number of different ways. They had originally come in for their digestive problems, which completely resolved. However, they also reported that a significant amount of anxiety that they had been experiencing which they had attributed to a troubled emotional life also vastly improved.

There are many case reports in the medical literature of just this type of reaction happening in people with gluten intolerance. But the problem is not limited to gluten. Immune reactions to other foods are just as important and can cause just as many emotional and neurological problems.

 

rssyoutube

Dr. Stephen WangenThe inability to lose weight as well as the inability to gain weight are frequently two sides of the same coin. Food allergies and sensitivities, gastrointestinal bacterial infections, yeast, and parasites can all interfere with your ability to break down and absorb nutrients properly, and this can result in weight loss and/or difficulty in maintaining weight.

Having difficulty gaining weight may seem like a good problem to have, but people with this challenge find it very frustrating. When your body has a poor relationship with food, you may be able to eat all you want, but the food isn’t being assimilated.

This problem is further exacerbated if you have symptoms such as diarrhea, which is another sign that your body isn’t processing nutrients well (malabsorption).

For some people with food allergies or intolerances, the reaction can be so severe that they can’t get enough nutrition to sustain themselves from the food that they eat. This is surprisingly common, and these patients are often blamed for not eating enough or are told that they have an eating disorder. However, many of these patients eat far more than average and don’t have any problems with their desire to eat or to keep food down. They can’t get help, because no one believes them. Worse yet, other people even go so far as to say they wish they had the same problem.

As you can imagine, people with this issue are trying to gain weight. Frequently this means that they are eating lots of bread products, baked goods, and processed foods, which of course are full of food allergens. They may also be using popular commercial weight gain products. And what do those products usually contain? A hefty dose of common food allergens.

A perfect example of a popular weight gain product is Ensure. Most Ensure products contain large amounts of dairy, soy, and corn, three things that many people who need to gain weight should not be ingesting. Many patients describe feeling worse when they try to use Ensure.

Another major aspect of digestion is the ecosystem within your digestive tract, which is filled with trillions of bacteria. These bacteria play an integral role in digestion. If you don’t have the right kind of bacteria, or if you have yeast (Candida) or parasites, then you won’t digest your food properly. The good news is that all of these things can be tested, including your “good” bacteria.

When we work with patients who are having trouble with their weight, we always evaluate them for food allergies and intolerances as well as for bacteria, yeast, and parasites. Once we figure out the source of their problem, we can find a treatment plan that really works. Patients are amazed at the results. Many people find that they can gain weight just by avoiding the foods that were preventing them from absorbing nutrients.

If you are struggling with a weight issue and your body isn’t responding to the usual solutions, don’t give up. Keep investigating. Be honest with yourself about your diet and your exercise level. Then consider the possibility that something else is getting in the way of you realizing your goals, and let us help you find out what it is.

rssyoutube

(img thanks to commons.wikimedia)
(img thanks to commons.wikimedia)

A recent article from Bankrate.com highlights the fact that most doctors and healthcare providers have no idea what your financial responsibility will be for your treatment. This means you won’t know what getting healthy will cost until the bills come in the mail.

“In many cases, a patient won’t know the actual cost of care until after that care is delivered, which can lead to surprise medical bills and unwanted debt that can affect your credit score.”

The IBS Treatment Center is different. We tell you exactly what your care will cost and why it will cost that amount. We believe that transparency in healthcare is a key aspect to the best treatment.

Learn more about the IBS Treatment Center and its policies HERE.

rssyoutube
How Can a Nutritionist Help Your IBS?

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.38.00 AM
How Our Nutritionist Can Help You!

At the IBS Treatment Center, our commitment to your health doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Our doctors often recommend new dietary plans and we understand that our clients may need extra support as they transition their eating habits. To serve you better and give you the best service possible, we have added a staff nutritionist to our team.

We are pleased to announce Becky Rajcich, RD has joined us to help our clients reach new levels of satisfaction with their health and their foods! Becky can help you build a practical plan based on your IBS doctor’s recommendations so you can manage each meal of the day and start feeling better sooner. As our in-house Registered Dietitian, she has the ideal advantage of working closely with both you and your doctor.

Becky’s food philosophy is that everyone has the right to eat food that supports their bodies and tastes good. She specializes in taking challenging nutritional needs and breaking them down into simple, practical plans that can be incorporated into everyday life. With Becky’s help, you can achieve greater satisfaction with your food choices, regardless of your dietary requirements and goals.

Becky is also able to seamlessly combine the requirements of your unique diet with any other objectives you wish to accomplish.

Additionally, she has an excellent understanding of food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. Becky will combine this information with other needs, such as diabetes, Candida, weight loss, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and eating disorders. She can provide you the practical support and education that you need to feel more comfortable with your diet, and do meal planning with you or provide you with recipes if that is needed.

Becky is also available for specific dietary analysis to make sure that you are getting the nutrients that you need for optimal health.

rssyoutube

Innate Health GroupQuestion from a recent patient before coming to see us.

“I have been diagnosed with IBS. I am not sure I am a candidate for your center as I have been through a number of trails already from antibiotics, probiotics, enzymes, to detoxifying complexes. I have also been on the Low Fodmap diet since January, and have  eliminated soy, dairy, beans and gluten (though I do not have Celiac). I also do not have Colitis, Crohns, or cancer.

My main symptom that causes my distress is gas, though I have diarrhea too. But the diarrhea I don’t really let bother me, it is just a norm and I usually know when it will come, in time to take care of it. What I would really like to figure out is how do I eat out? How am I going to travel to Europe? Will I ever enjoy Italian, Mexican or pizza again?”

From Dr. Stephen Wangen:

“I am really glad that you contacted us because you are exactly the kind of person that we love to work with and the kind of person that we routinely work with.

Our doctors would like to see the lab work that you’ve had done and review all of the treatments and diets that you’ve done as well. Our goal is the same as yours, to help you figure out exactly what the problem is and the appropriate appropriate treatment for you to get back out in the world doing the things you want to do, like traveling. We won’t just repeat the things that you’ve already had done.

Once our doctors know your complete history and understand it better, then they’ll be able to tell you what is missing and guide you on a path that is much more likely to sort out your problem.  It’s not a guessing game. IBS is our specialty, and solving it requires an IBS specialist.  We also have a wonderful dietitian who will be able to assist you with this process, but you’ll definitely want to see one of our doctors first.  I encourage you to call our office at 206-264-1111 to schedule an appointment.”

rssyoutube

Dr. Stephen WangenThis story comes from a recent patient of the IBS Treatment Center. Her name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Stacy came to the IBS Treatment Center because she had terrible abdominal pain and bloating. She hadn’t been able to enjoy being outdoors or her favorite hobby (gardening).

Stacy was especially anxious because even wearing a seat belt was causing her a lot of discomfort, not to mention just being stuck in a car.

It was so problematic that she would regularly go without a seat belt, which is certainly not advisable. Her first goal was to feel well enough to be able to wear her seat belt.

After working with Stacy, doing the proper testing and follow up work, she is now feeling much better and can finally drive comfortably and do it in a much safer manner, because she is comfortable wearing her seat belt again.

She is also happier (ecstatic actually!) that she can now do some gardening again and is looking forward to much more in the future!

rssyoutube

Dr. Stephen WangenA recent Medicare question from a prospective patient.

“Hello,

Can you please tell me whether you accept Medicare?  My father, who is in his 70’s, has had debilitating IBS for many decades and no doctor has been able to help him in the long term.  I would like to send him your information, and it would be helpful to know what his out-of-pocket costs would be.  He lives in Arizona so may need a pre-consultation over the phone first.”

Response from Dr. Stephen Wangen.

“We would be happy to work with your father. We commonly see patients who have had long term IBS, have seen many doctors, and have not gotten results elsewhere.  Medicare has been known to reimburse some of our patients, but it can take significant work. We are direct pay at the time of service.  You will discuss all potential charges with the doctor. You are in complete control. We provide you with the documents you need to submit an insurance claim to Medicare.  A typical first office visit is just $245 for 35 minutes with the doctor. If you would like more time or are coming from out of town we recommend a 50 minute consult for $350.

Any tests or treatments will be discussed between him and the doctor once the doctor has a complete understanding of his history and his problem. You are under no obligation to do anything else. Total costs for everything we provide, before insurance reimbursement, are generally less than $1,500 (fifteen hundred dollars). Most patients pay less for everything they do with us than the cost of a single colonoscopy.
We would also be  happy to provide a pre-consultation before he makes the trip out. A pre-consultation is 10 minutes by phone or skype with a doctor and is just $70, which is then deducted from his first visit when he becomes a patient. When he does come, he only needs to come to the clinic in person one time. His follow-up consultations can also be via phone or skype.”

rssyoutube