How To Test For Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease)
Gluten is a protein at the heart of such grains as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale. You should be able to tolerate it just as you do any other protein in meat, milk, and fish. But a subset of the population has celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that completely heals with the removal of gluten from the diet. After going gluten-free, symptoms (intense abdominal pain, joint issues, fatigue, and vitamin deficiencies due to the damaged intestinal walls’ inability to absorb nutrients efficiently) diminish quickly, although it can take six months to two years for the lining of the intestine to heal completely.
To diagnose gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, you must be eating gluten to avoid false negative tests. The gold standard is biopsy of the small intestine. Improved diagnostic blood tests can also diagnose celiac disease, but you must do all three since they each have different sensitivities and specificities. Ask your health care practitioner for these three blood tests: Gliadin IgA antibody, Gliadin IgG antibody, and Transglutaminase IgA antibody.
Before you decide to change your diet and lifestyle, and go gluten-free, talk to your healthcare provider. They may suggest that you test for celiac disease and rule it out, before you start.
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