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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

What About Allergy Tests? Blood Tests Versus Skin Prick Tests?
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8 posts in this topic

My 12-year old daughter had blood tests for common food allergens, and we're lucky because all came back "below detection" or negative. This means -- I think -- that she's not allergic to peanuts, etc (the things on the list)....

 

However, now the allergist is asking for us to do the skin prick tests. I can't understand why this is needed -- isn't the blood test definitive enough? What will/could we learn from the skin tests -- is it necessary?

 

If you've had any of these or your child has, would like to hear from you.

 

Thanks!

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My 12-year old daughter had blood tests for common food allergens, and we're lucky because all came back "below detection" or negative. This means -- I think -- that she's not allergic to peanuts, etc (the things on the list)....

 

However, now the allergist is asking for us to do the skin prick tests. I can't understand why this is needed -- isn't the blood test definitive enough? What will/could we learn from the skin tests -- is it necessary?

 

If you've had any of these or your child has, would like to hear from you.

 

Thanks!

It could give a clearer picture.

 

I don't understand to much about the blood tests, however, with the skin prick tests, the doctor takes a bit of the allergen and uses a needle to poke the skin with it. Then you wait for a while and if anything occurs, it will show as a hive.

 

I think the doctor may be doing it to see if she reacts to any of the suspected foods.

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Why did you test her to begin with?  Testing in the absence of a known reaction is NOT recommended because of the high rate of false positives for both skin and blood testing.  A negative allergy result is however 90%+ accurate.

 

Unless you saw a reaction to something, I wouldn't have even done the first round let alone any more.

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My son had allergy testing (skin prick) done when he just turned two because he couldn't stop his runny nose.  They tested for something like three dozen things and he was allergic to nearly every tree, bush and grass in the test.  His back swelled up.  He vomited on the way home from the overload of allergens and passed out for something like 20 hours straight.  It was a horrible experience for him although it gave us a clear picture of what to avoid and when to medicate as he was clearly allergic to different things in different seasons.

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Hi StephanieL and Shadowicewolf,

 

So here's the history -- my daughter has had rashes and hives for a number of years. She also had stomach aches, never seemed like much because she didn't complain a lot. All got A LOT worse the past year, then we got the Celiac diagnosis in April.

 

When she first started getting the rashes and hives, we went to pediatrician, who sent us to allergist. This first allergist tested with skin test and found her to be possibly allergic to walnuts -- not a high level of response -- plus some environmentals. We didn't test for very many allergens.

 

Our current GI felt we should follow up on the nuts. When my daughter ate peanut butter -- this was before the celiac diagnosis -- she got hives. Funny coincidence (not!) she was eating the peanut butter on regular bread.

 

So far all the "experts" we've seen seem to dismiss dermatitis herpetiformus. Like my daughter, I've had skin issues a lot in my life (my rashes look different from hers). These people don't want to give a DH diagnosis or seem unable to do so. I don't understand that at all!

 

My daughter hasn't eaten any peanuts or walnuts in at least a year, I think maybe longer. Now that we're off gluten and trying to gain weight, it would be super great to be able to give her foods with ALL nuts (she current eats almonds, pecans, and cashews, and I only give her the ones that are not processed with peanuts).....

 

I feel that it's not necessary to do more allergy tests. I think the blood test should be enough. However, I'm not an expert on this. I searched the internet a little and found nothing helpful on this topic.

 

I also feel that my daughter has had A LOT of tests since April, and I'd prefer to not do more right now....she's waiting for the results, can hardly wait to eat some peanut butter and some "KIND" brand snack bars....and I'm not sure she'll understand the need for a skin prick test.

 

I mean, I don't understand the need for this additional test, so how can I even explain it to her! (And part of me says the "need" is because testing is what these doctors do well!)

 

One thought I have is to re-introduce the nuts slowly and see if there's a skin reaction. We're currently on a dairy-free course of action, started it a few days ago and will soon start re-introducing dairy products, slowly one for 3 days, so I'm thinking maybe we should just wait a little longer on the nuts, and then re-introduce them the same way we're doing the dairy foods.

 

What do you think?

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My son had allergy testing (skin prick) done when he just turned two because he couldn't stop his runny nose.  They tested for something like three dozen things and he was allergic to nearly every tree, bush and grass in the test.  His back swelled up.  He vomited on the way home from the overload of allergens and passed out for something like 20 hours straight.  It was a horrible experience for him although it gave us a clear picture of what to avoid and when to medicate as he was clearly allergic to different things in different seasons.

Hi, this sounds like a horrible ordeal for you!

 

I get really mad when I hear this kind of story. Why did the doctor do sooooooo many tests all at once on him, he was only 2 years old!!! I know, it's good you have those results. It just seems like way too many tests at once.

 

What is a "latent celiac" that you have listed under your post?

 

Thanks for sharing your story.

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Do you have Epi pens?  

I would seriously ask about an in office food challenge before I would do more testing.  It's the ONLY 100% accurate way to diagnose and they are prepared for a reaction should one occur. 

 

African Queen-  Oh my!  Poor kiddo :(  I am so sorry you had to deal with that.  

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What is a "latent celiac" that you have listed under your post?

 

Paraphrasing from the GI - the older two kids have enough symptoms collectively to say if they don't have celiac today they will receive a DX in the future (time unknown). The both have first relative (youngest kid had testing numbers off the chart for a baby), elevated numbers, no weight gain and stomach pains. GI said she would DX them today to help with school plans, but I want a clear need for a DX since I'm essentially changing their lives over this. Anyway, they both have their scope and biopsy next week. I go back and forth between wanting clear damage and hoping its all a fluke and they're fine. This mom gig can be so hard! I *really* want the DX, but the oldest is going to be heartbroken with the changes that will happen out of the house.
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