Answer Bank

Frequently Asked Questions


I don’t have the money to get tested for celiac disease, but a gluten-free diet makes me feel better. Is it okay to start the diet without being diagnosed?

Because removing gluten from your diet makes it practically impossible to diagnose the degree of your possible gluten intolerance, there are many reasons why we don’t recommend doing so:
  1. Know the severity of your gluten intolerance. Celiac disease can lead to other serious health issues and you should, at least, rule it out if possible.
  2. Determine the likelihood that your family members may also be prone to the disease.
  3. Gluten-free diets may cause nutritional deficiencies that could lead to other health issues in those who don’t need to eat gluten free.
  4. Gluten-free diets make it tougher to diagnose the disease. In fact, should you wish to be tested it’s best to resume a normal diet for at least 12 weeks to ensure accurate blood test results.
Look for a clinic (perhaps, inquire with your public health department) in your area that may provide inexpensive or free testing. Also, look for free blood-screening events like the one that we provide at our Center in Chicago each October. December, 2012