Categorized: Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Can you “see” celiac disease?

Because the damage caused by celiac disease is microscopic, in a majority of cases it’s not possible to confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease just by looking at the walls of the intestine with the human eye. Biopsies are taken in order to analyze them under a microscope.

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Should I seek a second opinion?

A second opinion may be a good idea, but remember that celiac disease is difficult to diagnose because it mimics many other diseases. The current tests are very good for detecting it—4 days or even 2 weeks off gluten shouldn’t affect them—so if your results were negative (both antibody and biopsy) then it’s wise to… Read more »

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Is a gluten-free diet similar to a diabetic diet?

A gluten-free diet is very different than a diabetic diet. However, they’re both diets in which it’s important to understand the types of carbohydrates consumed. A gluten-free diet eliminates all wheat, rye and barley proteins to ensure adequate healing of the intestine. Gluten-free dieters should consume alternative carbohydrates such as quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and brown… Read more »

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How does a genetic test rule out celiac disease?

Two genes are responsible for celiac disease (HLA-DQ2 & HLA-DQ8). If you have either of them, then you have the potential for the disease to activate at any age. Having the genetic test is important for two reasons: to understand your risk factor for the disease and to understand the prevalence that your 1st and… Read more »

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In blood tests, are false positives less common than false negatives?

Even though blood tests are quite accurate, they are falsely positive 1-3% of the time (i.e., being positive without the person having celiac) and, although less commonly, falsely negative 1-2% of the time (i.e., being normal when a person actually has celiac).

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Are genetic tests 100% accurate?

Rarely are scientific tests 100% accurate, but with PCR technology genetic tests are very accurate. If there is a question about testing, it may be a good idea to take a second test using a different lab.

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How do symptoms of celiac disease tend to appear in children and adults?

Children tend to have the more “classic” signs of celiac disease, including growth problems, failure to thrive, chronic diarrhea/constipation, recurring abdominal bloating and pain, fatigue and irritability. Adults tend to have symptoms that are not entirely gastrointestinal in nature. Recent research has demonstrated than only a third of adult patients diagnosed with celiac disease experience… Read more »

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