Tests For Celiac Disease What Are They

tests for celiac disease

When you’re being examined for symptoms of the disease, tests for celiac disease are common. In fact, most are designed specifically to detect antibodies, a substance made by the body’s immune system that reacts to the gluten in barley and other wheat products. Other blood tests may look for various genetic markers, including fat-soluble enzyme 5-duction determinants (Fasting-Glo agglutination, GSS) and immunoglobulin, an antibody that reacts to gluten.

Tests For Celiac Disease

A pile of food

The most widely used tests include serological tests: here are drawn from a small intestine or liver and then examined for antigens, which are genetic fragments created by an enzyme. If the tests for celiac disease are negative, the doctor will likely recommend a duodenal switch, in which a small intestine is replaced with a duodenum. A cholecystectomy will remove part of the small intestine. A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of the intestine is taken for examination under the microscope. A gastroenterologist, a physician who treats diseases of the gastrointestinal system, can perform these tests.

Some tests for gluten sensitivity involve genetic testing. These tests identify proteins that cause symptoms byproducts in blood tests, such as eosinophils, lymphocytes, and T cells. Because eosinophils and T cells are responsible for removing bacteria and sometimes enzymes, researchers believe they may be the source of symptoms in some people who have gluten intolerance. Tests for celiac disease that include genetic testing usually do not include skin biopsies, blood tests, or biopsy samples. However, eosinophils do produce immunoglobulin and interferon, substances that are produced by bacteria and which might give rise to symptoms in patients with gluten sensitivity.

Combine Tests For Celiac Disease

A close up of food on a plate

Other tests for celiac disease combine genetic analysis with a dietary trial. For example, villosamine is often added to foods that contain gluten so that the body can begin to respond to gluten as if it were an allergen. Gluten-free diets, which are becoming more popular, include testing for villosamine levels. This type of screening is performed at the office of a nutrition specialist, usually at a private clinic.

Another common test for coeliac disease is an elimination diet. Patients are given a special diet for up to three days to see if they develop any symptoms that may suggest the possibility of coeliac disease. This test, which usually includes fasting and vitamin and mineral supplements, can take up to four weeks to conclude. At the end of this process, a specialist will perform a gastroenterology study to see whether any villosamine or gluten has been eliminated from the digestive system. Tests for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are sometimes performed at this time.

Things To Know

Many patients who test positive for gluten intolerance turn out to have a food allergy that is actually caused by another ailment, such as hypoglycemia. In such cases, the tests for gluten intolerance are combined with allergy tests to identify which food is causing a reaction. In most cases, the tests for wheat, barley, and rye are done first. Only after these are ruled out should other food categories be considered. This method has a much higher success rate than the combined immuno-allergens tests.

If tests for celiac disease do not provide conclusive evidence of a diagnosis, more definitive tests should be performed to confirm the diagnosis. If symptoms are still persistent even after following a strict gluten-free diet for six months or more, biopsies of the duodenum and/or larynx may be required to rule out conditions such as laryngeal cancer. In serious cases, where celiac disease is diagnosed at an early age, abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss can indicate a different condition, such as Coeliac Evitus.

Bottom Line

Diagnosis of this condition usually follows an exclusion criteria process. If one or more of the following symptoms are present in both the blood and the urine, then serological tests for high levels of anti-gliadin and anti-tissue transglutaminase may be performed. Diagnosis of Coeliac Disease is confirmed by the results of these tests. A diagnosis of Coeliac Evitus can only be confirmed by performing blood tests for abnormalities in the enzyme level in the blood. As of now, there is no treatment available for patients diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. However, the disease can be controlled by avoiding foods that contain gluten.

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