Categorized: Celiac Disease Diagnosis

How is dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) diagnosed?

DH is diagnosed by a skin biopsy, which involves removing a tiny piece of skin near the rash and testing it for the IgA antibody. DH is treated with a gluten-free diet and medication to control the rash, such as Dapsone or Sulfapyridine. Drug treatment is short term, usually until the gluten-free diet begins to… Read more »

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How is genetic testing different than antibody testing for celiac disease?

Blood tests, such as the tissue transglutaminase test (tTG) or the antiendomysial (EMA) antibody test, measure the autoimmune response triggered by gluten that occurs at that particular point in time. These are important tests because they characterize the extent to which the immune system is responding to gluten. Unlike antibody testing, the HLA genetic test… Read more »

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What does a “weak positive” blood test result for celiac disease mean?

Each lab defines “weak positive” differently. Unfortunately, diagnosis is not always a clear cut positive or negative. If you receive a weak positive, please work with your medical professional to determine the next best course of action. The diagnosis of celiac disease is like an iceberg; the obvious, symptomatic, yet smallest, part of it exists… Read more »

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Can a skin rash be associated with celiac disease?

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is an itchy, blistering skin condition that is a form of celiac disease. The rash usually occurs on the elbows, knees and/or buttocks, and is characterized by its bilateral nature; both knees (and/or both arms) are affected, seldom just one. Many people with DH have no digestive symptoms and only about 40%… Read more »

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Why does it take so long to get an appointment to see you?

We see patients from all over the world because there are so few doctors knowledgeable about celiac disease, but we’re working hard to help as many people as we can. If you’re trying to make an appointment with us, please accept the earliest available appointment. Once you’re in the system, then we’ll do our best… Read more »

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Are blood tests reliable for infants?

Blood tests aren’t always accurate in children with symptoms younger than three years of age. Children often must have been eating wheat- or barley-based cereals for some time, up to one year, before they generate an autoimmune response to gluten that shows up in testing. A pediatric gastroenterologist should evaluate young children who are experiencing… Read more »

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What is genetic testing and who can benefit from it?

Genetic testing can determine whether or not an at-risk individual carries the genes responsible for the development of celiac disease. These genes are located on the HLA-class II complex and are called DQ2 and DQ8. Each case of celiac disease has had these so-called “haplotypes;” therefore, a negative gene test indicates that celiac disease cannot… Read more »

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