Also, do you know what specific blood test you ask for celiac disease?? I am very interested in pursuing this avenue. I am reading some of the articles about autoimmune and nuerological problems associated with gluten. Very interesting...off to reading more.
Here are the usual blood tests in the full celiac panel:
tTG IgA and EMA IgA are the newer/more sensitive/more specific tests.
The total IgA test is not a Celiac test, but it must be run in conjunction with the other IgA based tests. If you are IgA deficient, you cannot test positive on the IgA based tests, so it is necessary to know if you are IgA deficient. If you are IgA deficient, they'll run the tTG IgG test, instead of the tTG IgA test. Being IgA deficient is more common among Celiacs than the average population.
For screening, some doctors run the tTG IgA and the total IgA. Some run the tTG IgA, EMA IgA, and total IgA. Some run all of them. Some only run the AGA IgA and AGA IgG, which are not as sensitive/specific as the newer tests.www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu/C_Doctors/C05-Testing.htm
Of the commercially available serologic tests that aid in the diagnosis of celiac disease, no one test is ideal. Using multiple serologies increases the diagnostic yield. Therefore, in the United States, screening in patients with possible celiac disease should consist of a panel of the following serologic tests:
Anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) both IgA and IgG
Anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) - IgA
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG) - IgA
Total IgA level."
You'll need to discuss with your doctor which tests they feel are most appropriate. Bring in this literature to aid the discussion.
BTW, you should know that there is a fairly high false negative rate for these blood tests; there is a high false negative rate for the intestinal biopsy too, but that's easily understood when you realize how long the small intestine is and how few (and how SMALL) the samples are which are taken. If the damage to your villi is in patches instead of uniformly distributed, it would be very easy to miss damaged areas.
My granddaughter Carly has celiac disease; the first time they tested her she was two years old, but was still wearing 9 month sized clothing. Both her blood test and biopsy were negative for celiac. A year later she had lost so much weight she was just skin and bones....it was scary. Her doctor decided to repeat the biopsy; sure enough it was positive! But she looked like a little walking skeleton by that time! My daughter Robin, Carly's mom, put her whole family on the gluten free diet right away (Robin has Hashimoto's thyroiditis and I told her that the gluten free diet can sometimes reduce the number of autoantibodies in your system...it could help save her thyroid). Now Carly is gaining weight, and is healthy and happy and growing normally!
I personally think that it's unwise to base everything on testing, because the tests can be wrong, and it's fairly easy just to try the diet for a couple of weeks, then go back on gluten and see what happens. If you have celiac or are even non-celiac gluten intolerant (NCGI) you'll know it!! You'll probably be sick as a dog when you go back on gluten!
One of the really nasty things about
celiac disease is that it can "
open the door" for other autoimmune diseases to develop: www.umm.edu/news/releases/zonulin.htm
So it's very important to find out if you do have a problem with gluten, if for no other reason that to try to prevent additional AI diseases from developing.
Unfortunately I've probably had celiac most of my life (I'm 54), but I only found out a year ago! Which may (at least partially) explain why I've got so darn MANY AI diseases!! :(
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