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Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results

The following detailed explanation of serological tests for celiac disease was written by Tom Ryan, Technical Service Specialist, INOVA Diagnostics, Inc.

There has been a lot of discussion about serological testing for celiac disease recently, specifically regarding tTG (tissue Transglutaminase) testing. I will try to answer some of the many questions that have appeared on this list about all of the tests. First, and this applies to any of the blood tests, you must currently be on a gluten containing diet for the tests to be accurate. Antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to substances that the body perceives as threatening. The immune response that your body produces is its response to being exposed to gluten in the diet and its subsequent effect on the intestinal mucosa. If there is no gluten in the diet, then there is no response that we can measure. A brief change in diet will not have a noticeable effect. If you have been gluten free for a week or so, it will not make any great difference. The response might be marginally less but the difference is insignificant because the body has not had time to respond to the change. Conversely, if you have been gluten free for a protracted period of time and decide to be tested, a brief challenge of a couple of weeks is not enough to elicit a response and get an accurate test.

There are several steps that take place to generate an immune response and it takes time both for the positive reaction when gluten is present and to clear the antibodies when gluten is eliminated. There has been a great deal of discussion about how much and how long a challenge should be and there is no consensus. Talk with your Doctor. My personal feeling is that the minimum is 2 slices of bread per day for 6 weeks to get an accurate test but I would not try to second-guess the Doctor. There are basically four tests that can be performed to aid in diagnosing celiac disease. Notice that I say they will aid in diagnosing celiac disease. Immunology is fairly accurate but it is far from being an exact science. All of the lab tests, regardless of the type or source, are presented as aids to diagnosis. They should not be used alone as a basis for diagnosis but rather are intended to be considered in conjunction with the physical examination of the patient as well as the reported symptoms, etc. by a trained physician. There has been a great deal of confusion about what the tests are and I hope to alleviate some of the misunderstandings. There are many terms that we hear. tTG, IgA, IgG, ELISA, etc. What are all of these? Some contributors to the list make reference to the IgA or IgG test or to the ELISA test. These labels are incomplete for our purposes and could be referring to any number of different tests.

We all have, within our bodies, a family of closely related although not identical proteins which are capable of acting as antibodies. These are collectively referred to as immunoglobulins. Five major types of immunoglobulins are normally present in the human adult. They are IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE and IgD. Each of these is a shorthand way of writing immunoglobulin gamma G (or A or M, etc.) and they each perform a different function in our systems. IgG is the principal immunoglobulin in human serum. It is important in providing immunity in a developing fetus because it will pass across the placental barrier. IgA is the principal immunoglobulin in secretions from respiratory and intestinal mucosa. IgE is a gamma globulin produced by cells lining the intestinal and respiratory tracts. It produces the antibodies associated with most hypersensitivity (allergic) responses. It is associated with asthma, hay fever, etc. IgM is a globulin formed in almost every immune response in the early part of the reaction. IgD is a rare protein present in normal sera in a tiny amount. These designations refer to the type of protein that is carrying the antibody in question. Both IgG and IgA subtypes of anti-gliadin antibody are produced, hence we refer to them as IgG gliadin or IgA gliadin. Collectively they are anti-gliadin antibodies.

Anti-Gliadin Antibodies:

Both IgA and IgG anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) are detected in sera of patients with gluten sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease). IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are more sensitive but are less specific markers for disease compared with IgA class antibodies. IgA anti-gliadin antibodies are less sensitive but are more specific. In clinical trials, the IgA antibodies have a specificity of 97% but the sensitivity is only 71%. That means that, if a patient is IgA positive, there is a 97% probability that they have celiac disease. Conversely, if the patient is IgA negative, there is only a 71% probability that the patient is truly negative for celiac disease. Therefore, a positive result is a strong indication that the patient has the disease but a negative result does not necessarily mean that they don not have it. False positive results are rather uncommon but false negative results can occur. On the other hand, the IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are 91% specific and have an 87% sensitivity. This means that they will show positive results more readily but there is not as strong a correlation with celiac disease. It is less specific. Patients with other conditions but not afflicted with celiac disease will occasionally show positive results. IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are detectable in approximately 21% of patients with other gastrointestinal disorders. This test might yield false positive results but is less likely to yield false negative results.

A sensitive testing protocol includes testing for both IgA and IgG anti-gliadin antibodies since a significant portion of celiac patients (approx. 2-5%) are IgA deficient. This combined IgA and IgG anti-gliadin antibody assay has an overall sensitivity of 95% with a specificity of 90%. The type of test used to detect the anti-gliadin antibodies is called an ELISA. This is an acronym and it stands for Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay. ELISA is not a test in itself. It is a method of testing and it is a relatively simple test to perform. It involves putting a measured amount of diluted patient serum into the wells of a specially constructed and prepared plate and incubating it for a period of time with various chemicals. The end result is a color change, the intensity of which is dependent upon the concentration of anti-gliadin antibody (or other protein being measured) in the patient serum. The ability of this colored solution to absorb light at a particular wavelength can be measured on a laboratory instrument and mathematically compared with solutions that contain a known amount of anti-gliadin antibody to arrive at a number for the amount of antibody present. The sample can then be classified as negative, (0-20 units); weak positive, (21-30 units); or moderate to strong positive if greater than 30 units. The purpose of testing for anti-gliadin antibodies includes, in addition to diagnosis of gluten sensitive enteropathy, monitoring for compliance to a gluten free diet. IgA gliadin antibodies increase rapidly in response to gluten in the diet and decrease rapidly when gluten is absent from the diet. The IgA anti-gliadin antibodies can totally disappear in 2-6 months on a gluten free diet, so they are useful as a diet control. By contrast, IgG anti-gliadin antibodies need a long time, sometimes more than a year, to become negative. The reverse is also true. That is, a patient with celiac disease who has been on a gluten free diet and tests negative for IgA anti-gliadin antibodies, will show a rapid increase in antibody production when challenged by gluten in the diet. Approximately 90% of challenged patients will yield a positive IgA anti-gliadin result within 14-35 days after being challenged. The IgG antibodies are somewhat slower.

Endomysial Antibodies:

IgA class anti-endomysial antibodies (AEA) are very specific, occurring only in celiac disease and DH. These antibodies are found in approximately 80% of patients with DH and in essentially 100% of patients with active celiac disease. IgA endomysial antibodies are more sensitive and specific than gliadin antibodies for diagnosis of celiac disease. Antibody titers (dilutions) are found to parallel morphological changes in the jejunum and can also be used to reflect compliance with gluten-free diets. Titers decrease or become negative in patients on gluten free diets and reappear upon gluten challenge.

The test for anti-endomysial antibodies is more subjective and more complicated for the lab to perform than the anti-gliadin assays. It involves serially diluting some of the patients serum, that is, diluting it by ½ then ¼, 1/8, 1/16, etc. and putting these dilutions on a glass slide that has some sort of tissue affixed to it. The slide is then processed with various solutions and examined under a fluorescent microscope to determine if any of that serum binds to any of the proteins in the tissue. If so, then that patient is confirmed as having antibodies to that particular protein. This method of testing is called an IFA or sometimes IIFA. It stands for Indirect Immuno-Fluorescent Assay. The selection of which tissue slide to use is determined by what specific protein, hence which antibody, you are specifically looking for. Endomysial antibodies react with the endomysium, which is a sheath of reticular fibrils that surround each muscle fiber. Therefore, to detect endomysial antibodies, you would want to use a tissue substrate that contains a lot of muscle tissue. The substrate used most often for this assay is distal sections of the esophagus. These are very thinly sliced and fixed to the slide. They contain muscle fibers and not much else so there is a lot of endomysium available to react with the anti-endomysial antibodies.

Reading this test involves viewing the reacted slides with a fluorescent microscope to make the determination. This requires a highly skilled and trained eye and, of necessity, is somewhat subjective. You are looking for a green fluorescence in the endomysium covering the muscle fibers. The test is reported as the titer or final dilution in which the fluorescence can still clearly be seen. As you can imagine, this is very subjective. There are no standardized values and it is up to the judgment of the particular technician what the endpoint titer is. Recently, (1998) the endomysial antigen targeted by the anti-endomysial antibodies was identified as the protein cross-linking enzyme known as tissue transglutaminase (tTG). This has enabled the production of an antigen specific ELISA assay incorporating tTG as a reliable and objective alternative to the traditional and subjective Immunofluorescence based assays. In clinical trials, the correlation with the endomysial IFA assay has been shown to be close to 100%. This is a test that has been very well received in the professional community. It is an ELISA, like the anti-gliadin antibody test and, as such, is not subject to interpretation like the IFA. That is the greatest advantage to this new test! With this or any ELISA, the response is measured on an instrument that calculates the amount of light of a particular wavelength that is absorbed by the solution and prints out a numerical result. There is no chance of human error skewing the results because there is no judgment call involved. The ELISA plate, regardless of what you are testing for, is processed with at least three control sera (sometimes as many as eight) in addition to the unknown sample being tested. There is a negative serum and at least two positive sera containing different levels of the antibody being tested. There are specific requirements for the absorption levels of these three controls. That is, each of them has a minimum or maximum (or both) number that must be seen by the instrument in order for it to be a valid test. If there is any variance from these expected numbers, it is an indication that something went wrong and the test results are discarded and the test repeated. There is therefore no way the technician could report inaccurate results, (assuming they diluted the sample correctly). Either the test was valid, and you can rely upon the accuracy of the result, or the test is invalid, and the entire result discarded. If any error was made during the processing of the ELISA plate, it would result in the control sera numbers being out of range and the entire test result would be thrown out.

In summary, the tTG ELISA is measuring the same thing that the endomysial IFA is measuring but with a method that is more sensitive and specific and not subject to interpretation. IgA class Reticulin antibodies are found only in Celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. These antibodies are found in approximately 60% of celiac disease patients and 25% of DH patients. This test is falling into disuse because of the limited utility and the availability of better tests. It is an IFA performed on a tissue substrate with all the attendant problems that go along with it. The development of all of these serum assays has tremendously simplified the diagnosis of celiac disease and improved the accuracy as well. The original criteria for diagnosis according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, (ESPGAN), involved a year of arduous studies with:

  • An initial positive gut biopsy;
  • 6 months on a gluten free diet;
  • A second, negative gut biopsy;
  • A gluten challenge for 6 months and;
  • A third, positive gut biopsy. The revised ESPGAN criteria call for positive results in two of the serological tests confirmed by a single positive biopsy. In practice, many gastroenterologists are utilizing the serologies in conjunction with a controlled diet and the clinical presentation to form a basis for diagnosis without the need for the invasive procedure.

Through the auspices of the Celiac Disease Foundation and others, a professional symposium and workshop was organized earlier this year in Marina Del Rey, California with participants from Europe as well as the U.S. to establish standards for reporting test results. This should improve testing and diagnosis even more. At the conclusion of this conference a Celiac Disease Standardization Committee was formed to investigate and make recommendations on a standardized method of reporting results.

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76 Responses:

 
Lisa
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said this on
15 Nov 2007 8:03:09 PM PST
Very thorough!

 
michelle
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said this on
01 Dec 2007 8:11:40 PM PST
very well written - I could understand it.

 
karen
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said this on
19 Dec 2007 2:20:19 PM PST
Very well presented. Those of us who are not medically trained can understand it.

 
Mary
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said this on
22 Feb 2008 8:50:35 PM PST
This is definately one of the best article I have read on celiac blood tests. Thank you!

 
Nancy
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said this on
27 Mar 2008 12:01:06 AM PST
Great explanation of the tests, now I know what to ask the doctor for to make sure they run all the necessary tests.

 
Michelle
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said this on
05 Apr 2008 2:02:05 PM PST
Finally an explanation I can understand.Thank you.

 
Rachel
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said this on
21 Apr 2008 6:23:56 PM PST
Great article - the only one I found online that came close to explaining the IgA and IgG ELISA in terms I could understand (my doctor is a bit ADD.) But now I have more questions. On my IgA and IgG ELISA test results for food sensitivity, my 'big ones' were yeasts, milk products, and nuts. On both the IgA and IgG tests I had much lower reactions to gluten / grainy products in general. I wasn't on a gluten free diet when I tested, but still had not been a big bread or grain eater in general. But now I'm wondering if registering a positive on both tests is something to think further about. I did read somewhere that sensitivity to milk products can produce results similar to gluten sensitivity? Any thoughts on that?

 
Susan
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said this on
30 Jun 2008 5:22:56 AM PST
Thank you this was very clear and helpful.

 
Lenore
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said this on
05 Oct 2008 11:38:41 AM PST
Now I have a better concept of what was tested, why, the validity and how I can better understand my own test results.

 
Kathleen Taylor
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said this on
12 Nov 2008 4:18:04 PM PST
Now I understand! I think the dermatologist and gastroenterologist thought it was too complicated to explain - and thus I did not take them seriously!

 
Shar
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said this on
28 Mar 2011 4:38:30 PM PST
I also had rashes on my scalp that cleared up in about 3-4 months of being gluten free. My hair is not so oily, that improved quickly. I also have restless legs, and was able to lower the nauseating dosage. I started magnesium, about 400% RDA and that also let me lower my restless leg dosage. I think I started having celiac symptoms about the time the restless leg problem started a few years ago. I am 5 months gluten free. Reading that it can take a year or more to get better has me hoping I will feel better yet. My symptoms continue to get better, but I did not know it could take so long. I was concerned that I also had other health problems. Now I will just wait another 6 months as I continue to feel better.

 
Deborah
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said this on
09 Dec 2008 1:43:57 PM PST
I wish I had read this before testing. I have been on a gluten free diet almost all the time for 10 months, and thought that the antibodies would show up on the test if I ate wheat the day before testing. I think my tests are false negative, but definitely don't want to undergo biopsy to prove it.

 
matt
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said this on
10 Dec 2008 3:37:20 PM PST
It seems cruel and unnecessary to put someone back on a diet containing gluten after 6 months of being gluten free. I quit eating gluten after my mother and sister were diagnosed with celiac . I feel so much better that I don't need a 'confirmation ' by a doctor or invasive procedure.

 
ann
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said this on
17 Jan 2012 8:19:22 PM PST
I'm with you Matt! I mean is medicine about the patient or the disease - I would feel terrible all the time for 6 months back on gluten and can't see what difference it would make to my care - you can still have regular endoscopies, I would imagine on request?

 
Gillian Jones
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said this on
31 Oct 2012 2:02:38 AM PST
I've been treated for coeliac disease and it's very useful to read the excellent article before my results - thank you!

 
Louise
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said this on
19 May 2012 2:19:21 AM PST
I too self-diagnosed as I logged symptoms and reactions, searched reliable internet sites. I kept putting off the blood tests and biopsy until my intolerance went from just bread causing the reaction to everything containing wheat/gluten (even porridge oats) to the stage I was very limited in foods. Gluten-free diet is very expensive and in the UK a confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease allows you a limited amount of gluten-free food on prescription. I also have stronger anti-histamines from my GP for any reactions.

 
Heather kerekffy
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said this on
07 Jan 2009 4:52:07 PM PST
Finally an explanation! I was low on my IgA but high positive on IgG and so sick and my doc said, 'at some point in the past, gluten made you very sick, but you're fine now.'.. He was totally ignoring my symptoms! That was two years ago and he still doesn't believe I have it, even though since then he diagnosed me with osteopenia.. I've been off gluten for about 3 months now, and my chronic migraines and stomach problems are gone! my doc still doesn't believe I have it, but IBS instead! give me a break! And these are Seattle gastroenterologists!

 
Chika
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said this on
07 Jan 2010 10:08:28 AM PST
Same situation with me and my docs in NJ!

 
Marie
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said this on
18 Dec 2013 11:26:23 PM PST
Me too! In Australia - "dying" for a proper diagnosis.

 
Rita
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said this on
13 Feb 2009 7:28:37 PM PST
Great article. I finally understood better the interpretation of the test results. I would like to see a table of the combination of tests usually done, the results (negative, positive) and possible interpretation of whether or not the disease can be presumed. I tested positive for anti gliadin IgA and negative for anti endomysium Iga and the doctor really does not know the meaning. My sister is confirmed celiac and I have IBS symptoms.

 
Carmen
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said this on
24 Feb 2009 10:26:54 AM PST
My doctor ordered the IGA test knowing that I've been on a gluten free diet for 4 months. It came out negative & took me out of the diet. Now I'm back to my old diarrhea nightmare. Now I know why. I'll definitely go back to my gluten free diet! Thanks!

 
Jill from UK
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said this on
01 Apr 2009 2:03:37 AM PST
Thank you for explaining the whole testing sequence in simple terms so that I can understand them.

 
Shelia Ryan
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said this on
03 May 2009 11:12:54 PM PST
Very interesting. I am having more testing and hopefully people will realize I was not a fussy eater. The food did not agree with me.

 
Sharese
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said this on
04 May 2009 2:56:12 PM PST
This article is the best. It really explained my sons results and I fully understand that he definitely has a gluten sensitivity. I printed it to share with other moms at my sons school. Even my PCP didn't know how to interpret it..I'm a RN and I found this to be very simple and informative.

 
Jill
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said this on
18 Jun 2009 10:00:49 AM PST
In the hopes this will help someone, I'm posting my before and after Celiac panel test results.

On 4/10/09 (diagnosed)
Deamidated Gliad IgAH 127
Deaminated Gliad IgGH 104
Tranglut IgA 43

On 6/12/09 (gluten free diet)
127 -> 58 (goal under 10)
104-> 48 (goal under 10)
43 -> 10 (goal under 3)

So after being on gluten free diet from 4/10/09-6/12/09, 8 weeks, already seeing dramatic reductions in antibody levels. Not done yet, but are headed in the right direction. I didn't see this kind of information posted anywhere, so hoping this information is helpful.

 
jodieB
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said this on
09 May 2013 6:04:38 PM PST
Wow everyone else has much lower IgA Counts than me. Mine at diagnosis was 474 and after 3 weeks of gluten-free diet now is 519 !!

 
Lisa Shroyer
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said this on
23 Jul 2009 10:55:36 AM PST
Thank you for putting a complicated process into words that the patient can understand. I have spent hours poring over material and couldn't understand it or it was simply to vague. I finally understand what my doctor is saying to me.

 
Tina
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said this on
07 Aug 2009 6:31:23 AM PST
Thanks for this. You mentioned that "IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are detectable in approximately 21% of patients with other gastrointestinal disorders."

What other gastrointestinal disorders could also come back positive with IgG? Is it possible to have a positive IgG but be disease-free?

 
Susan Tees
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said this on
27 Sep 2009 12:31:35 PM PST
I keep coming back to this wonderful article for reference. Wonderfully thorough and scientific.

 
Maggie L.
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said this on
06 Oct 2009 3:57:05 AM PST
I'm getting the blood panel tomorrow. In the past 10 years, I have avoided gluten since it made me bloated. I've also had fertility issues, osteopenia, floating stools, and signs of vitamin deficiency. Recently, I've been unknowingly eating gluten in the form of oats for about 6 weeks. After researching celiac online, I've decided to get tested. But now I realize that I might get a false negative. We'll see... I'll bet there are others out there in my same situation, so I'll let you know my test results and what I plan to do. The thought of pasta, pastries and sandwiches makes my head happy, (Happy Holidays!), but I know my gut will be miserable, just to prove a diagnosis.

 
Adolph Schaber
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said this on
26 Oct 2009 2:33:19 PM PST
I am still a bit confused. I have a high gliadin IgA Ab at 75 High, and a negative Gliadin IGG ab at 27.0. My Transglutaminiase IGA autoab was 4.0 and my Endomysial IgA was negative and my Immunoglobulin A was 332.0 Does this mean that because only my Gliadin IgA ab was abnormally high that I don't have celiac disease being that the other antibodies were within normal limits. What does a high Gliadin IGA AB represent.

 
Phillipa Sheard
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said this on
14 Dec 2009 6:59:03 PM PST
In order for you to get a true test result you can not eat out. Gluten is in everything. Dry beans are persevered with Wheat, as Scott Adams said to me a couple of days " The Food May Be Cross Contaminated" Try to eat veggies,or anything you feel in manufactures can be cross contaminated with Gluten and then go take another Panel.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
16 Dec 2009 3:24:34 PM PST
I don't agree that wheat is used to preserve dry beans, and do believe that you can eat out safely if you take basic steps to discuss your meal with the wait staff and cooks.
Scott

 
Debra
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said this on
11 Jan 2010 10:30:41 AM PST
This helped me somewhat. Only have iga of 5.8 and negative on igg and everything else?

 
ellen
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said this on
18 Jan 2010 1:44:53 PM PST
Helped somewhat.

Can someone help me interpret 10 year old sons results though? Gliadin AB IGG 5 (says negative), IGA 18 (says >17 positive). Is this automatic Celiac?

 
d. finlayson MD
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said this on
12 Feb 2010 11:44:09 AM PST
Good job on your article.
There are some articles on TTG that you might want to look at.
I could email them to you.

 
amii
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said this on
14 Feb 2010 6:59:11 AM PST
I have been diagnosed with celiac disease-I am 14 years old. Celiac doesn't run in my family, but thyroid cancer runs on my dads side, is this connected?

 
PeggyNC
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said this on
22 Feb 2010 3:07:18 PM PST
terrific article...wish I had known about it before the doctor ordered the blood tests....been gluten free for 5 years after diagnosis in another hospital in western part of the state, so of course they came up negative when current doctor in new location tested. Will print a copy to take with me to the doctor's at next appointment..wish me luck!

 
michele
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said this on
23 Mar 2010 12:35:42 PM PST
My sons are both coming back with elevated IGA tests the older 165.0 TTG IGA 16 but his symptoms are mood, weight, stuff like that. My younger son can't keep food down and is nauseated all the time his is only 117 and 10. He is miserable they are telling him not to change his diet it might mess up testing but he has been very ill for 3 months and we are frustrated with all the waiting around.
Any advice?

 
Cathy Simms
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said this on
29 Mar 2010 1:49:06 PM PST
I was hoping to find an explanation for IGA, Qn. This test is part of the celiac panel and I have not been able to find what an elevated result means.
Other than the exclusion of this important IGA explanation, the article was very good.

 
Jo
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said this on
17 Apr 2010 7:20:17 AM PST
Very good article for us laymen. I am having the testing done in 2 days. I wasn't told whether or not to fast for the test.

 
Audrey
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said this on
26 Jan 2012 10:49:11 AM PST
My doctor said doing it right means fasting.

 
Rosalie Southern
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said this on
20 Apr 2010 3:42:40 AM PST
Very informative just had a blood test and I cant really interpret results: antibody part waiting on part 2 Genetic one.

 
Marina
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said this on
21 Apr 2010 12:37:02 PM PST
Great article!! Thank you!

 
Marty
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said this on
28 Apr 2010 1:48:08 PM PST
Thank you so much, this article is a God send! I just received my IGA test results today, it was 27 (a weak positive), but I had no idea what that meant. Your explanation told me everything I wanted to know.

 
Hilary
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said this on
12 Jul 2010 8:24:47 PM PST
Thanks for the article. I've been gluten-free for about 3 months and my doctor told me I did not need to be eating wheat to take the blood test. Think I'll have to be retested....

 
Maria
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said this on
26 Jul 2010 12:17:22 PM PST
My son was tested for celiac disease after a year or so of feeling sick, having a rash on his elbows knees and legs, poor weight gain etc. The blood test came back Antigliadin IgA Antibody of 12 and Antigliadin IgG of 34. flagged as high. Then he had a stomach biopsy and it was inconclusive but remarked that it had to correlate with the Serologic findings. I don't know what that means. His pediatrician GI specialist said yes he had celiac...but I had to push to get the blood test and it came back to us in November 09 positive. She didn't say anything about it and I had to push for the endoscopy.

 
Kelly
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said this on
14 Oct 2010 2:43:24 PM PST
Excellent explanation. I recently tested positive by IgA (low but still positive). I have had many significant symptoms and chronic illnesses. I truly believe it is all due to gluten. My former doctor said the positive was weak and would not contribute to any of my health issues. I found a new doctor, went gluten free (1 month now) and am starting to feel the best I have ever felt in my life!

 
Gluten Sufferer
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said this on
08 Nov 2010 5:47:51 PM PST
Like pretty much everybody has written here. This is one of the most thorough and well presented articles I have ever found.

Thank you.

 
Lynn C.
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said this on
27 Nov 2010 8:42:47 AM PST
What would you conclude about a person who feels great, but has an elevated anti-gliadin IgA? All other tests are normal.

 
Lisa
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said this on
03 Dec 2010 6:32:28 AM PST
My daughter and son both tested negative on initial blood test. Because of horrific stomach pains, lack of focus and flu like symptoms she went gluten free anyways. Result: All symptoms gone. Her words after she got better "I felt like I was dying!" My son's excema, muscle pain and allergy symptoms--gone!

 
Daniela
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said this on
12 Dec 2010 11:14:22 PM PST
Please Help me to find out what is going on with me?
I stopped eating gluten 1 year ago. I had a skin problem and It was suggested to me to try gluten free diet .I did that ,no milk and gluten for 2 mounts. After 2 mounts by accident some flour was on my plate .I was even surprise by the effect. My gyms and tong puff up and the tip of my tong felt burn I couldn't breathe normally for an about 20 min.
Since then I tried food with gluten to see if it is going to be the same. Sure enough every time I had the same reaction. Sometimes I had swallow a little bit gluten without me knowing, then I get really sleepy and tired for the whole day with numbness on my feet and hands.The next day I am in abdomen pain and feel quite sick.Now I cook at home everything, only that way I feel safe .
Lately or the past mount I am losing very quickly my energy ,I am getting lethargic and I feel pain in every muscle and bone in my body. I cannot concentrate easily.
I am 45 years old and almost never got sick. I grow up on bread and filo dough, flour. It is true I work a lot , but I don think that this is the reason for me to feel always exhausted.
I need to live my live somehow and not to be afraid to wake up every morning.
I take some vitamins and minerals I have no insurance and I have not seen a Doctor for the problems .
I read in Better Nutrition magazine that IgC gliadin antibody test is the best blood test to identify gluten sensitivity.
I need to know what to do, to keep myself healthy and awake, and in good mind.
I love the article ! I would be happy to know how to find out for sure about allergy I have.

 
Carrie M.
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23 Dec 2010 12:03:36 PM PST
Now I understand my family's lab results! My husband and I have 5 children. In a matter of 3 months, my husband, son, and daughter were diagnosed with celiac disease. First through blood work, then with biopsies. A little overwhelming :) My children go back in 2 months for more blood work to see if they are responding to their gluten free diet. Thank you for explaining this to us!! Now I understand what levels to look for.

 
Katrina
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02 Jan 2011 11:21:20 PM PST
I first started to suspect that I had celiac a few years ago, but when tested it came back normal. I noticed that when I ate certain foods or drank beer, I would bloat so bad it looked like I was pregnant. A few months ago, I started bloating with almost everything I ate. I saw a surgeon, who sent me to get an ultrasound, that sent me to get a CT scan, which sent me to a urologist, who said I had some bladder wall thickening, not the reason I was bloating, which sent me back to the doctor. I saw him on Monday, I told him I had been researching my symptoms and that I believed it was celiac. He's having me tested for it, but also a thyroid problem. I've bloated so much that I look like I'm 6 mos. pregnant, I've gained 8 lbs. since November. I have the floating stools, bloat, rashes on arms, legs, back etc.. I've got the worst gas anyone can imagine. At this point I don't care what tests/biopsies I have to endure if it means knowing what's wrong with me. I can't take much more.

 
Megan
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13 Jan 2011 10:16:23 AM PST
I have had diarrhea for 6 months now. I had a baby 9 months ago...followed by a mystery rectal bleed a week later which was so severe I ended up needing surgery to stop the bleeding and a blood transfusion. About 3 months later, I developed diarrhea after I ate anything... sometimes even if I didn't eat anything. They have done tons of blood tests and stool cultures and tested for a bunch of stuff and still can't find anything. I've been through 3 doctors and 2 gastoenterologists. Had 2 colonoscopies (one for the bleed and one for the diarrhea) and they took biopsies and everything came back normal. My 2nd gasto tested for celiac and said I didn't have it after looking at the biopsies and blood tests... however my blood tests show my Gliadin IgA at 27 units, but my Gliadin IgG at 5 units. My tissue transglutamase AB IgG came back at 5 units and my tissue transglutamase AB IgA came back at 6 units. Some docs told me I have a gluten intolerance but I can still have limited amounts if I want. Gastro said I don't have it, and one doc told me she thinks I have celiac and to not eat gluten period. I've been gluten free for 2 months now, and I'm very careful... I don't eat out and I make sure any gluten items in my household stay far away from my food and my prep areas. I was feeling better gluten free with minimal diarrhea attacks, but still feel the bloating and gas every time I eat and within the last week or so the diarrhea has come back. Went to doc again and they did an ultrasound yesterday to check my gallbladder, pancreas ect. I should mention too.. over the last six months when this started I was down to 204 lbs (down from 260 at 39 weeks pregnant..204 was also my normal weight for about 2 years prior to pregnancy) and I am now 123 lbs as of my doctors appt yesterday. So I've been losing weight like crazy from this.... The most recent doctor thinks it's gluten intolerance and something else. Do the test results indicate gluten intolerance or celiac or neither? I'm getting so many different answers from doctors and even after reading this article am still not sure?!?! Please help!! I should also mention I am 26 years old....and a first time mom. Thanks.

 
Kelly
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23 Feb 2011 6:42:30 PM PST
You should try to find out if you have Chron's disease. My best friend has it, and has pains in her large intestines that are so bad that she's hospitalized frequently. But what makes me think that you might have it is your weight loss. She struggles with fluctuating weight between 80-110lbs because she's on meds to help her gain weight. She also had a hard time having the problem diagnosed and was close to dying from being underweight before they finally realized it was Chron's disease. You should look into it.

 
Kari
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20 Apr 2011 10:34:36 AM PST
You might want to have your thyroid checked. I had similar symptoms. I have Graves Disease (and was told yesterday that I have celiac disease too). Graves Disease is a thyroid disease that I almost died from because it took so long to figure out what was going on. Would be worth getting it checked (simple blood work tests).

 
Mitche Leigh Hunt
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30 Dec 2011 3:04:53 PM PST
Megan -- I am just now reading your post. Just because a person has an M.D. after his or her name does not indicate at which level he or she was graduated from Medical School. You know 1/2 of the class graduated under the 50% mark. I also have several university degrees -- however, none of them in medicine, but I was educated in how to think. On top of that I am a human being with an innate desire to be well, and happy and have a good life. Of course, that part of my being was never utilized, because in our culture, I was just like everyone else, I believed doctors are here to tell us how to do that, and we are supposed to do what they say, no matter how inane it may appear to be. Therefore, I had to come to the belief that I could listen to myself and my body. I -- as none of us -- don't need to have fancy medical terms told to me; to make me know how I feel. And no matter what the current medical name is for a disease, it is the same thing systemically whether it is called "ague" (old timey name for flu), "flu," "bad cough," etc., etc.

I put myself on a gluten-free diet (following my own independent study) and following the recommendation from my doctors -- supposed to be the best -- that I have a $10,000 colon surgery. It has always been my reasoning that if a person is not feeling good at all, that putting them through surgery is not a good way to make them feel better. I also feel this way about medications. There is no doctor -- or huge scientist in Big Pharma -- who knows how a certain synthesized drug is going to react with my (or your) DNA. Also, any drug can be checked out in the medical dictionaries MDs use, to see its toxicity. The word "toxic" is a better sounding word than "poison." Well I hated to shatter my M.D.'s hopes for the profit on that $10,000 colon operation, but I told him and the other doctor with him that I was going to try a gluten-free diet. Both of them looked at each other like "What in the heck is she talking about?" But I made them feel better, I told them I would be back if my gluten-free test did not work out.

What was my test? I had heard that Narcotics Anonymous -- I hope I have this right, because narcotics were not one of my problems -- tells its new people who want to get off drugs that it will take 3-months to feel better. So, I figured that was a good sane way for me to go about my gluten-free experiment. The upshot is that my recovery was remarkable -- because, like you, my main problem was always wondering if I was going to get to the nearest toilet in time. That is a terrible thing to have happen to a person when they are in their car with tapestry seats, in huge traffic on the freeway, miles from home. [And for those persons who have never been in this position, it is not a matter of pulling off the freeway at the next offramp; the damage has already been done. No self-respecting person would get out of their car and to into a filing station to ask for a key to the Lady's Room.] Non-celiac persons have no concept of these kinds of things -- and, worse, like at a formal ball -- or an important reception. They just do not know how a Celiac-person's all-around life is affected.

Also, at the end, I had much wooziness and muddled thinking, and sometimes my speech would blur, like I was a daytime drinker. Thank God, I did not go to Alzheimer's doctors -- but what if I was very old and weak looking, what would the prognosis have been? (Just a thought!)

So, because of my gluten-free trial, the need to know where every toilet in my town is, and the wooziness and slurred speech went away first. But, at first I hated to "always have to" eat plain meat and steamed veggies. (Sad, wasn't it? Some people don't even have food!) Now, I have been eating gluten-free for seven years -- and I have learned how to cook gourmet gluten-free that is so good I don't want to take any chances in going to the fanciest up-scale restaurants in the world.

You may wonder if I ever went off the diet. You bet I did! After being gluten-free-pure for about seven months I said "THIS A CROCK." I mostly bemoaned my fate during that time and hadn't learned how to cook G-F gourmet. I now believe I was bored with my good fortune of feeling good all of the time. Now, I can look back to my childhood (when my parents gave me lovely BD parties and I threw up!!!! -- they called it the excitement of so many kids; if I were a kid today, I would be taking doctor-ordered Ritalin for ADD, or whatever it is called). So I got used to the dramas of illness; that was "normal" for me. You know, like being sent home from school -- when I was away at school -- because I was so sick and no one knew what to do with me. Also, Celiac people have the societal disadvantage of never looking sick even when they are dying! So what do schools think? Well, they think: "This kid is putting us on -- because my big flair-ups were always around exam time!!"

I hope this helps you; I want you to have a happy first-time mom life with your child. And watch that child closely, which I am sure you are.

 
Mike
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11 Mar 2012 4:46:55 PM PST
This really touched me. The disadvantage of not looking sick, because I have been telling my family I'm sick for 26 years and they think I'm crazy, as I don't look sick but I'm really dying.

 
Nikki Shipley
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18 Feb 2011 8:02:57 AM PST
My son is 9. When he was 3 he was diagnosed with an IGA deficiency. His number was a 12. At 7 we had him tested again and he was at a 17. 2 months ago we had him tested again and he was back down to a 12. He has been having stomach pains for 2 years now. Would he be a candidate to be tested for celiac? No one will even test him for anything. Also, do you know the normal levels for IGA? My daughter is at a 25 so we wonder if she is deficient. Diagnosed through an ENT but not referred to a specialist.

 
Steph
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26 Mar 2011 7:17:27 PM PST
I had a biopsy done and it showed something nonspecific that lead them to think celiac but when I got the blood test done it came back negative. Can I still have Celiac? I feel like my doctor gave up on me after the negative blood test? What other tests can I ask him to do to be sure?

 
ayman
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28 Apr 2011 11:25:24 AM PST
just got my EMA 240 ....shocking

 
Kay
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31 May 2011 8:41:48 AM PST
My Dr. also wouldn't believe the false negative result of the tTG. He told me such a thing was extremely rare. I finally had to submit to a biopsy in order for the Drs to believe me and start treating me based on an understanding of my having Celiac disease. I almost ended up in surgery for a problem which turned out to be a secondary symptom of Celiac mineral malapsorption. Now I'm on a GF diet and prescription vitamin regimen and healthier than ever!

 
kathy Izzo
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19 Jul 2011 12:43:02 PM PST
I think I have a lot questions for my doctor, he just told me my blood test came back positive, and nothing else?

 
Sandy
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28 Aug 2011 9:01:09 PM PST
My 11 year old daughter's IgA was 2.95 and her TTG was >300. Is this enough to diagnose her with celiac or should I push for the biopsy?

 
whit
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04 Oct 2011 8:30:42 AM PST
Just got my results back, and this article really helped me to understand everything. Thanks so much! I'm glad there is so much support out there. Next step, getting rid of all the gluten in my kitchen!

 
Lynn
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06 Mar 2012 4:03:59 PM PST
I am awaiting results from my test. Also having colonoscopy done. I have had awful allergies/asthma all my life. This last 3 weeks I've had horrific diarrhea. I have had spells of that but normally only 1-2 days. Afraid to travel because no control. Started not eating gluten today. And yes it happened to me on a second date in the car. I'm hoping this will clear it up!!!!
This article was wonderful because now I know what the test means. Thanks.

 
cmw
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18 May 2012 9:09:41 PM PST
An excellent read. I was able to learn a lot about testing and the results.

 
Jennifer
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17 Jul 2012 2:43:17 PM PST
Thank you. I am still trying to understand it all and this helps. I have tested negative for the biopsy and blood tests but been eating gluten-free for three months and the pain is getting much better. I just can't get swelling in upper abdomen to stop. I swell each time I eat whether it's gluten-free or not.

 
Trisha
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20 Jul 2012 8:03:57 AM PST
I just had a positive small intestinal biopsy 7/2012 and am now having labs done. I had TTG IgA done and it was >3 and negative Endomyisal Ab in 2010. Do you think I just wasn't fully reacting to gluten? Has anyone else had similar issues? I'm Fibromyagia, Chronic Iron Deficiency Anemia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, sleep problems, depression, anxiety, hair loss, burning/sore tongue, & vision problems.

 
Ayn
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said this on
09 Sep 2013 3:06:08 AM PST
Danelia and Everyone else,
I have a ton of symptoms. You know when something is not right with your body and hope your finding it. There seems to be a root cause to you being tired and having pain everywhere. with lethargy and being afraid to wake up in the morning.
I have the same this for almost four years now, plus heart flip flops, arythmias, numb body sections, MEMORY LOSS, can't focus. Can't make decisions. I can get very anxious for no reason. My hair is falling out more and more. I had low basal body temperature for months with a minor sore throught and achiness. Im freezingEasy And I'm just putting the two and two together. I am so exhausted and heavy feeling 24/7 and this never lets up. the symptoms just kept coming. Slowly and slowly...more and more. I went through...thinking it was Candida, then I got the ELISA test for lyme disease. Came back equivicol. What a joke. It was the most inaccurate way to do this test...whether I have lyme or not. It just took me till now to know that many blood tests, especially ones we don't look up....Can cost you the quality of your life. I had to get on ssi disability at 25. Im now 29. I lost everything. Im 99 percent sure I have lyme. medicare and Medicaid I hear don't pay for the appropritate tests or treatments. I have to pay out of pocket to see a dr. that will listen to you and give you accurate results. So insurance...in my situation, seems, many of these doctors...don't listen, don't care, and make you think your crazy.
The pattern of this is so obvious. Also Dental amalgams that contain 50 percent mercury can do a great job on the fatigue so can getting a root canal. Root canals are dead teeth. Get them out if you have them. These alone can make you so tired and lethargic. They create so much havoc to every body system, they make bacteria and the mercury corrodes teeth and jaw bone which can have almost more profound effects than all the silver mercury amalgams you have in your teeth. then you get more terrible bacteria. NEUROTOXIC bacteria.

Anything with gluten or suger or a carb will make any type of invfestation that you have worse. I'm too sick most of the time to care, but I have to.

Theres many things I believe that can make blood results not so sufficient, especially in people who have multiple symtoms going on. I am so sick...but labs come back normal? Really? Mercury predisposes you to autoimmune disorders. People are genetically predisposed to be sensitive to it and all the other metals. that are on an amalgam. and it's parterns in crime (bacteria, parasites, candida,...)go undetected that they rob you of your nutrients, as they attack you kidney, and bind to cells like hemoglobin giving you less oxygen as a result making you more tired. Your results from the blood work for everything says and looks normal.

But blood work only can tell the levels available! They don't measure performance and functioning!

Hope this helps, I've been walking around with vapors from the boat load of mercury I had in my mouth for 20 years. And been really really sick for the last 4 without thinking of it. I also too know Im dying. But just have questions about my IGG labs.
Ref range says <20 Units.
Gliadin IGA is 5
Gliadin IGG is 4
TTG AB Iga is4
and TTG AB IGG is 8.
Does this sound right?
I can't get any antibodies for ElISA (the lyme) test, But results came back equivicol? What else can't I make antibodies for?
Just know that you have to do your own research, Ask for different tests. Even the great natropathic Drs. don't know how your symptoms connect.
Try colloidal silver, it's amazing. It stopped my heart from beating out of its chest for a week and a half straight. I took a teaspoon of that and within mintues I could catch my breath and get my appetite back. DEF a bacteria issue. Magnesium for anxiety and GABA. Lots of Vitamin C. achidolpolus, B-complex. Melatonin for sleep. Vitamin D.

Hope this helps.

 
Audy
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20 Oct 2012 8:21:52 PM PST
What other stomach symptoms could be associated with blood results typical of celiac disease?

 
The5trahans

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27 Feb 2013 6:20:03 AM PST
Can anyone tell me what an IgA of 44 means when the test range states 81-463?

 
VCH
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said this on
26 Mar 2013 9:35:35 AM PST
So... IgA of 219 means I have celiac disease?

 
Jim Rosni

said this on
26 Sep 2013 8:10:39 AM PST
My test result 8-5-13. 152
19 units or less : negative
20-30 units: weak positive
31 units or greater: moderate to strong positive.

I am GF since 8-6-13. feeling better everyday.

 
Daniel Wilder
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said this on
20 Jul 2013 11:28:15 AM PST
This article was very informative.




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