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.)