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Old 29.06.2017, 10:26
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looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich area

I have had a couple of diverticulitis attacks over the last 3 years and and my hausartz sent me to a gastroenterologist that they always recommend.
He was evil.
He did a colonoscopy which left me traumatised... he said I had a completely 'spastic colon' hence the pain/discomfort (and a whole lot more that I won't write about for fear of putting someone off the procedure)

He has done a few tests lactose, gluten and lactose but then dismissed me and said I should stop eating fresh fruit and veg as I can't digest fibre and that I have IBS and thats just the end of it... come back for another colonoscopy in 5 years.
I have been speaking to a homeopath whilst on holiday in Aus who said I should get a second opinion and try a FODMAP diet.... and I'm inclined to agree with her. I have terrible symptoms and would love to find someone who helps me find a solution.
I live in fear of a third diverticulitis attack as then my doctor said they would definitely do a colon re-section.... so anything I can do to avoid this would be well worth the effort.
I live near Baden so Zurich would be ideal, to to be honest I would travel pretty much anywhere. I have pretty good insurance so that is not an issue at all.

Any advice and recommendations gratefully appreciated.
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Old 29.06.2017, 10:46
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

A colonoscopy is really not difficult, fairly painless and an excellent way ofd determining many life threating diseases.

The main problem is embarassement but at the end of the day, we all got one and the chance of my Doc recogniosing me in the street is minimal as i don't greet him like dogs do; showing and sniffing assholes !

If your doc recommends a colonscopy, bite the bullet and go do it, it's a life saver !
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Old 29.06.2017, 10:52
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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A colonoscopy is really not difficult, fairly painless and an excellent way ofd determining many life threating diseases.

The main problem is embarassement but at the end of the day, we all got one and the chance of my Doc recogniosing me in the street is minimal as i don't greet him like dogs do; showing and sniffing assholes !

If your doc recommends a colonscopy, bite the bullet and go do it, it's a life saver !
I did the colonsocopy, It took nearly an hour, they brought me out from sedation to see how I was doing, I screamed the surgery down, I was in the worst pain of my life, they sedated me again and when it was all over the guy said it was the worst one he had even done and I was left covered in blood and severely traumatised......
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Old 29.06.2017, 10:57
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

Dr Jean Pierre Gutzwiller in Thalwil:

http://www.magendarm-thalwil.ch

Easy to talk to, very patient-focused.

However, the practice only takes patients by referral, you cannot get an appointment on your own. So your GP would need to be willing to make the arrangements. The practice is very busy, if this is more or less a routine consultation expect a wait for an appointment. If it's urgent make sure your GP stresses that in making the referral.

If you are interested in the FODMAP diet, can your GP set you up with a nutritionist? This is generally recommended because FODMAP eliminates a lot of foods that are part of a healthy diet, you do want to make sure you are getting the balanced nutrition you need.

Helpful books by Dr Sue Shepherd who develped the FODMAP diet:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Lo...erd+low+fodmap
https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Low-F...erd+low+fodmap


That said... IME there seems to an unfortunate tendency among a lot of doctors here to dismiss gastro issues without proper investigation, and then no follow through to help manage your condition. Surprisingly my worst experience was at Unispital Zürich. As you likely know, IBS is an elimination diagnosis; anyone who suggest it as a first step should be questioned.

My 'IBS' turned out to be something more sinister, far too much time was wasted getting a proper diagnosis. (I have in generally been underwhelmed by diagnostic abilities here, but that's just my personal experience based on the small handful of doctors I have seen.) I finally got to the bottom of my problems when I saw someone back home - but on return to Switzerland with a proper diagnosis in hand the follow through treatment was quite good.


Don't be afraid to be persistent. My experience taught me that you have to question and even push harder here than you might be used to at home, you have to be your own advocate. You know your own health best; if you are not getting better, push for further investigation.

Wishing you all the best.
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Old 29.06.2017, 11:07
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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Dr Jean Pierre Gutzwiller in Thalwil:

http://www.magendarm-thalwil.ch

Easy to talk to, very patient-focused.

However, the practice only takes patients by referral, you cannot get an appointment on your own. So your GP would need to be willing to make the arrangements. The practice is very busy, if this is more or less a routine consultation expect a wait for an appointment. If it's urgent make sure your GP stresses that in making the referral.

If you are interested in the FODMAP diet, can your GP set you up with a nutritionist? This is generally recommended because FODMAP eliminates a lot of foods that are part of a healthy diet, you do want to make sure you are getting the balanced nutrition you need.

Helpful books by Dr Sue Shepherd who develped the FODMAP diet:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Lo...erd+low+fodmap
https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Low-F...erd+low+fodmap


That said... IME there seems to an unfortunate tendency among a lot of doctors here to dismiss gastro issues without proper investigation, and then no follow through to help manage your condition. Surprisingly my worst experience was at Unispital Zürich. As you likely know, IBS is an elimination diagnosis; anyone who suggest it as a first step should be questioned.

My 'IBS' turned out to be something more sinister, far too much time was wasted getting a proper diagnosis. (I have in generally been underwhelmed by diagnostic abilities here, but that's just my personal experience based on the small handful of doctors I have seen.) I finally got to the bottom of my problems when I saw someone back home - but on return to Switzerland with a proper diagnosis in hand the follow through treatment was quite good.


Don't be afraid to be persistent. My experience taught me that you have to question and even push harder here than you might be used to at home, you have to be your own advocate. You know your own health best; if you are not getting better, push for further investigation.

Wishing you all the best.
Thanks for the book links, I'm in Sydney now and after talking to a naturopath who suffers from IBS I've been researching the FODMAP diet and its very interesting the amount of research and work being done here.
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Old 29.06.2017, 11:12
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

A doctor once told me that the whole IBS/spastic colon diagnosis is one they make when they can't really figure out what's wrong with you, but don't want to dismiss your symptoms. But as such, it doesn't really tell you anything, other than you're having symptoms, but you already know this.

My sister seems to have benefited a lot from visiting a nutritionist/dietitian and following an elimination diet. Seems like a safer bet than just taking out all fresh fruit and vegetables from your diet.

Good luck!
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Old 29.06.2017, 11:18
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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I did the colonsocopy, It took nearly an hour, they brought me out from sedation to see how I was doing, I screamed the surgery down, I was in the worst pain of my life, they sedated me again and when it was all over the guy said it was the worst one he had even done and I was left covered in blood and severely traumatised......
Good lord, that should never have happened!

I'd be questioning the anesthesia protocol...

I, too, woke up in the middle, but felt no pain. I just got to watch on the screen, which was quite interesting.

Make sure you recount your experiences to the next gastroenterologist you see, ask how a recurrance can be prevented. You need reassurance that what you experienced was not normal, you don't want to be left dreading the next procedure.

Seriously, you should not have been left in pain. That is unacceptable.
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Old 29.06.2017, 11:24
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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A doctor once told me that the whole IBS/spastic colon diagnosis is one they make when they can't really figure out what's wrong with you, but don't want to dismiss your symptoms. But as such, it doesn't really tell you anything, other than you're having symptoms, but you already know this.

My sister seems to have benefited a lot from visiting a nutritionist/dietitian and following an elimination diet. Seems like a safer bet than just taking out all fresh fruit and vegetables from your diet.

Good luck!
yes, I certainly worry I don't get al the nutrients from my food that I should. I eat really healthily, cooking from scratch etc, so not having and raw fruit and veggies is a bit hard...
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Old 29.06.2017, 11:35
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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Good lord, that should never have happened!

I'd be questioning the anesthesia protocol...

I, too, woke up in the middle, but felt no pain. I just got to watch on the screen, which was quite interesting.

Make sure you recount your experiences to the next gastroenterologist you see, ask how a recurrance can be prevented. You need reassurance that what you experienced was not normal, you don't want to be left dreading the next procedure.

Seriously, you should not have been left in pain. That is unacceptable.
To be fair my husband got a call up after his 50th and had the procedure with the same guy and it too about 20 mins and he didn't feel a thing.... So I know it was me... BUT that doesn't make the thought of my next one being any easier....

I think they 'brought me around' because it was taking longer than usual and the doc knew it wasn't going well.... I can remember them asking me if I was still ok and I just screamed.... I'm normally quite good with pain....

Last edited by An Expat Wife; 29.06.2017 at 14:07. Reason: addition
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Old 29.06.2017, 13:54
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Our experience is that IBS means "we don't know but have to call it something"
FODMAP may help, but is not first step, and depending on how stringent not so healthy over relatively short time
There are a battery of tests (not so common in CH) where doctors can measure gut bacteria presence, density, capacity, etc. Takes time and patience to restore balance, though - not a "one pill and you are fixed" approach.
PM me if you want name of specialist in this area - not exactly near you but quite experienced in this field. Also beware of quacks, you want a real MD not holistic diet advisor. Good luck!
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Old 30.06.2017, 02:44
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

Thanks for the PM's and replies. I have quite a bit to work with now.
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Old 13.08.2019, 13:44
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

I am trying to pin down which food trigger IBS / bloating. I have pinned down a few obvious triggers already.

So in continuing this journey, I am also interested in a dietitian and good advice in the Zurich area. Feel free to PM me or post here.

Meanwhile,.. A tip if learning about FODMAP and found there is a useful and comprehensive guide/ FODMAP app by Monash University ( it is a paid app on android and apple but is fact and science based ).
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Old 13.08.2019, 13:48
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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My sister seems to have benefited a lot from visiting a nutritionist/dietitian and following an elimination diet. Seems like a safer bet than just taking out all fresh fruit and vegetables from your diet.
I know someone who is well down the track too and it's a FODMAP issue she has, which means avoiding most fruit and vegetables and leaves a short list of them to enjoy. In the upside she isn't gluten intolerant. And a low FODMAP diet allows you to eat meat and plenty of salads.... in the end there are some similarities to Paleo which might explain how some people find relief from aspects of that.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.08.2019 at 15:56. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 13.08.2019, 15:05
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Re: looking for Gastroenterologist / IBS / FODMAP doctor recommendations in Zurich ar

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I have been speaking to a homeopath whilst on holiday in Aus who said I should get a second opinion and try a FODMAP diet.... and I'm inclined to agree with her.
FODMAP diet is definitely a good thing to try. You can find plenty of online resources or order books telling you how it works. It's not as bad or disruptive as it sounds. It's good to use this to work out by process of elimination which particular FODMAP substances it is you react negatively to. You can then progressively reintroduce the other stuff to your diet and just stay clear of the few red flags.

I've done this (with the support and blessing of my GP) and it has worked.
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