Originally Posted by heroes31
Not sure if this is the correct place to post but I wanted some advice from the SDN community.
I just recently went to this doctor's office in NYC with my wife because she suffers from very bad IBS. He claims to be an internal medicine specialist and an integrative alternative doctor and is supposedly an expert in IBS. During the visit he made all these claims that food allergies were the cause of IBS and that a yeast "Candida" was in her intestine causing all her symptoms. He tried to convince us to carry out allergy tests, another test where my wife would swallow a pill that would read her pH throughout her GI and transmit it to a belt she would wear (Heidelberg test), and in total everything would probably cost over $3000. There were other 'fishy' things as well like claiming she had thrust on her tongue which I believe is not true and other weird claims like her needing to go on an "alkaline diet" which consisted almost entirely of proteins to suppress the yeast and make her body more alkaline. He also tried to sell us hundreds of dollars worth of vitamins and herbs. Anyways after we got back I did research and realized there is very little to no research on anything that he said (also zero publications from him on pubmed) and on top of that he is not board certified in any field according to the Dept of Health in NY(despite his secretaries claiming he was). Also he claims to have graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (and the Dept of Health also records this and that he did an internal medicine residency at Coney Island Hospital) but on his linkedin page he claims he got his MD from Cincinnati.
My reason for posting this is because although I told him not to perform the tests he still wants his consultation fee which is a few hundred dollars. I feel like he misrepresented himself and I shouldn't have to pay. Also I am concerned that maybe he didn't really graduate from medical school and is using a fake MD. Is there any way I can check if his MD is legitimate and who could I report him to if it is in fact illegitimate.
Sorry for the long post but it has been a very stressful couple of days and I was hoping the SDN community may be able to give some advice. Thanks!!!
Regarding the licensure issue, I'd check it but it's unlikely he's a fake MD. Assuming that checks out, you're stuck paying the consult fee, unless he expressly stated that visit was "free".
IBS is a condition that medicine doesn't always do well with. Consequently, there are no shortage of 'alternative' treatments out there. I do think that ruling out food sensitivities/allergies is valid, especially once a patient has gone through all the traditional evaluation and treatments. The testing for food allergies is getting better but isn't always perfect. You wife is best off trying an elimination diet which, although it involves more effort on her part, usually yields more useful information.
Candida in this scenario is usually not taken seriously by most MDs. However, there is a lot of emerging understanding of the role of gut miicroflora in disorders like IBS. You would do well to read up on creating a good gut environment for which to cultivate the "good bugs" and discourage the "bad bugs", Candida included. Dietary changes are one part of that, as I think the NYC doc was suggesting.
Cases like your wife's can be challenging, and will likely take time and patience. Don't look for a magic bullet because you'll probably be disappointed. Having said that, there are some supplements that can legitimately be helpful, so don't completely give up on them.