Answer Bank

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you have celiac disease without having the genes for it?

This topic raises much debate. The current thought shared by the many physicians and scientists is that 1-2% of celiacs may not possess the celiac-specific genes HLA-DQ2 and/or DQ8. Our Dr. Guandalini and Dr. Bob Anderson, chief scientific officer of ImmusanT, believe the genes are necessary to initiate the immunologic response of celiac disease, hence you cannot have celiac disease without them. Dr. Anderson retrospectively reviewed hundreds of celiac patients, 2% who did not have the genes, and with each he was able to conclude that the celiac diagnosis was actually wrong: some had Crohn’s disease, some Giardia infection, and some had immune deficiencies. February, 2013