Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition characterised by an abnormal immune response to gluten, a protein present in wheat, as well as comparable food proteins found in rye and barley. Celiac disease antibody testing aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of the illness, as well as a few other gluten-sensitive disorders. These tests look for autoantibodies in the blood, which the body creates as part of the immunological response. This immune reaction causes small intestine inflammation as well as damage and loss of the villi that line the intestinal wall. The villi are projections, which are tiny tissue folds that enhance the surface area of the gut and allow nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fluids, and electrolytes to be absorbed. When a gluten-sensitive individual is exposed to gluten, the body releases autoantibodies that attack intestinal villi components. When villi are damaged or destroyed, the body’s ability to absorb food is greatly reduced, and signs and symptoms of malnutrition and malabsorption begin to emerge.
How Is The Celiac Test Used?
Celiac disease antibody tests are generally used to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of celiac disease in persons who have symptoms such as anemia and stomach discomfort. Celiac testing is sometimes used to screen for asymptomatic celiac disease in those who have close relatives who have the condition because 4-12 percent of them have or will acquire the celiac disease. Those with other autoimmune illnesses may also be subjected to testing. Celiac disease blood tests assess the presence of certain antibodies in the blood. The following are the most common tests:
- The principal test ordered to screen for celiac disease is tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG), IgA class. This test is the most sensitive as well as the most specific blood test for celiac disease, and it is the sole test recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterology Association for the diagnosis of celiac disease in those over the age of two. If the test is positive, it can also be used to monitor the disease and assess the efficacy of treatment. (Although the term “tissue” appears in the name of this test, it is really assessed in the blood.)
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA) — This test is generally conducted in conjunction with the tTG IgA test (below) to detect IgA deficiency, which occurs in around 2-3% of celiac disease patients. If you have IgA deficiency, the tTG IgA test may be negative even if you have celiac disease (false-negative test results). If the IgA test reveals that you are deficient in IgA, a test to identify the IgG class of autoantibodies may be ordered (see below). In the case of IgA deficiency, tTG, IgG may be utilized as an alternate test.
- Antibodies to deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP), IgA, or IgG — may be utilized in certain persons with suspected celiac disease who are negative for anti-tTG, particularly children under the age of two. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends DGP IgG testing in addition to anti-tTG IgG testing for persons with low IgA or IgA deficiency. If the anti-DGP test is positive, it might be used to track celiac disease.
Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Among the digestive indications and symptoms are:
- Distension and discomfort in the abdomen
- Bloody feces
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Soiled, foul-smelling feces