Tests for Celiac Disease

So, when you just aren’t feeling right, have been feeling not-so-good for a while, or have a close friend or family member that you suspect has an issue with gluten, what is the next step? While it might be tempting to just go on a gluten-free diet and see what happens, it’s best to get tested for Celiac Disease first. And, here’s why:

  • If you go on a gluten-free diet before being tested, the test will not be accurate.
  • You will have to do a “gluten challenge” for one to three months before being tested.
  • If you are feeling better, it will be very hard to do the “gluten challenge.”
  • The test might still not be accurate.
  • Having an actual diagnosis is more likely to keep you from cheating on a gluten-free diet.
  • Not cheating is imperative if you have Celiac Disease.
  • You can claim gluten-free food on your taxes (check with an accountant, first.)
  • Some schools will only work with a gluten-free diet if you have an actual doctor’s diagnosis. (For school-age children.)
  • Genetic Testing

    If you are going to develop or have developed Celiac Disease, you must have certain genes: either HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8. These are actually the names of molecules on cells that are encoded by the genes, but they are used as the names of the genes being tested for. Celiac Disease cannot develop unless one of […]
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  • Diagnosing Celiac Disease (Blood Tests and Biopsies. Oh, my!)

    Blood Tests: Even though an intestinal biopsy is considered the only way to definitively diagnose Celiac Disease, blood tests are usually performed first to see if a biopsy is necessary. If you have Celiac Disease, your body produces antibodies in reaction to ingesting gluten. The blood tests look for these antibodies. There are three specific […]
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