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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.

Skin Prick Test?
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18 posts in this topic

A gluten allergy. She said that because my symptoms are not diarhea, a biopsy will probably not show what we are looking for. Since my sinuses swell shut and I get severe constipation after an accident, she is betting that an allergist can do a skin prick test and get a positive reading. She said it will be put in my records as as gluten intolerant if it does. Then she told me that "The only treatment for such an allergy is a STRICT, SEVERE DIET REGIMEN OF ABSOLUTELY NO GLUTEN-CONTAINING PRODUCTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!" She has referred me to an allergist for the testing. I am willing to accept this, since it will show a gluten problem. She called it Celiac Sprue because it is a problem, but not life-threatening like celiac disease. I am hoping that it will be positive, because I do not have to go on gluten, my insurance will pay for it, and all of the doctors I have ever been to accept skin prick for allergies. She was happy to see that I have lost weight, started sleeping better, and am all-over feeling so much better! :D Any comments or opinions?

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a skin prick test relies on an IgE response to form a wheal on the skin. it will NOT detect a gluten intolerance. BUT, your symptoms MAY be consistent with a wheat allergy. (to clarify, gluten intolerance is a IgA and IgG response to gluten, while a wheat allergy is an IgE response to wheat protein.)

call it what you want, celiac disease, celiac sprue, gluten intolerance, etc, but it is NOT a classic allergy.

(exasperation directed at your doctor, not you! :-) )

has she run the celiac panel blood test on you yet?

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I asked her about them. She said they are way too expensive and too invasive. She feels that if she just proves that I have to avoid gluten for the rest of my life, that it will be sufficient. My husband agrees with her, because he knows how sick I get when I eat gluten. He thinks the gluten challenge for the testing will be too much for me. He said for me to also have Enterolab do a panel, and get a MedicAlert tag. He even said that HE will pay for the Enterolab testing! I can sure go for that! I guess I am just too busy feeling good: six weeks gluten-free, with a couple of minor accidents, has left me feeling hearty and hale, and able to breathe! :D

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The doctor did say that the allergist might decide it's necessary to order the blood tests, so I am going to ask for them when I go in. I don't want to go on gluten and be sick, but I do want a proper diagnosis!

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You should e-mail the enterolab. Dr. Fine will e-mail you back and answer any questions. I just got my results back and it says that I do have celiac when my blood test said no. I was gluten free before the blood test and then ate gluten for 3 weeks. I was so sick and felt like I had to start from square one. Check out your options getting sick is not fun as you know. good luck with everything

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Dessa- please find yourself another doctor who is more skilled at diagnosing Celiac...from your comments, I can tell that this doc is not up on his/her skills in this area. Also, food allergies are not typically diagnosed accurately by skin prick tests.

Sara (I'm a pediatrician )

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I don't understand. You all complain because your doctors do not accept the changes in your health that a gluten-free diet brought about. My doctor did accept it. She only wants a test to prove to other doctors that I cannot have gluten. She chose to start with the least expensive, least invasive, least harmful test for me. Since the end result is the same, a gluten free diet for the rest of my life, what difference does it make how she proves beyond shadow of doubt that I cannot have gluten?

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But a skin test cannot prove gluten intolerance. I think that's the issue that people are referring to here. Gluten intolerance is NOT an allergy, and even true food allergies are difficult to diagnose through skin tests.

Doing the skin test will not say anything about whether or not you're gluten intolerant.

(I'm glad, however, that your doctor has accepted your results. Mine has done the same. Since I'll be gluten-free anyway, I've opted not to go for conclusive celiac testing myself.)

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My daughters gi dr. wanted her to go to an allegist since she had improved on a gluten-free diet but her test were inconclusive.

He said that there is a difference between a wheat allergy and celiac. If she only has a wheat allergy there is the possiblity

that she can grow out of it. If it is celiac it is life time gluten free. We have not gone to the allergist yet but do plan on it

in the future. However, if she does have a gluten allergy it does not necesarily eliminate the possiblity that she has celiac too.

So you ask what's the point. If she doesn't have a food allergy it is more likely that she does have celiac even without the

positive test results.

Good Luck!

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My sons ped did a blood panel and said, at first, that it was an allergy to wheat. I went home did a bunch of research on wheat allergy and came up with lots of info on celiac disease. When I went back to the doctor and asked him about it, he never actually said "your son has celiac disease" but when I asked staight up "Is my son a celiac" he nodded yes and reffered us to a pediatric gastroenterologist to confim his dx. The gastro did confirm the dx of celic based on both the blood test result, and the improvement on the gluten-free diet.

I guess I just don't understand our peds reluctance to verbalize the diagnosis, but when I suggest it, he seems relieved that I said it and he didn't have to. This was all more than 2 years ago, and now when ever my son has a gluten accident that he needs to see the doc for, he labels it as "sympotoms consistant with celiac episode" and send us on our way. So it seems after 2 years he has become more confident about his diagnosis, but I appreciate his willingness to go out on a limb and make the call even if he wasn't sure it actually was celiac. He has been great about learning about the disease right along with us and I am very thankful that we found him.

Dessa, I hope that you get the answers you are looking for, but be carefull about the skin prick test. Yes it is less expensive and less envasive, but try to determine if, based on the information you have, is it really going to give you acurate results? I have not had the need to look into the enterolab and thankfully my son never needed a biopsy, but if it is celiac and not just an allergy or intolerance, you need to know that, and the blood test is the first step to an accurate diagnosis.

Good luck and I'm very glad you are feeling better.

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I asked the doctor's office about the test, and they told me a dozen or so items have been requested. Apparently, the doc is concerned becuse I have had several severe reactions lately to different things, and each reaction is worse than the last. I guess the wheat just falls in with the group she is looking at. I will be talking to the allergist when I go about celiac disease.

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O.K. guys, When I was 15 the allergist did testing on me and proved I actually had an allergy to wheat. I had severe rashes on my skin, blisters and weeping which crusted and formed severe scabbing on my face, arms and legs. He took me off wheat for 3 weeks and since I did not improve put me back on wheat because I was so painfully thin. If you go forward 52 years I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. So-o-o, am I both allergic and intolerant?????? I really don't know. I do know, however, that I have developed many, many other allergies in the interim and still have problems even though I have been gluten free for 3 years. This is probably because doctors really don't know what the blazes the they are talking about. So guys, it is really up to you to figure out how to solve your health problems (or at least this one) so you can feel better. I am now nearly 70 years old and adhere as closely as I possibly can to a gluten free diet. Believe me, if I had known then what I know now I would have handled things a lot differently. Use your own good judgement when it comes to your health. Shirley

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Update:

The scratch test done on my back showed no reaction to anything, so they did shot tests on my arms, but not for any foods. I am very allergic to grasses, which include wheat, barley, rye, rice, sugarcane, and oats. I had to learn what all grasses learn on my own, and I did so too late. I spent 45 minutes in the ER after eating rice crackers. I guess I will just avoid all grains, and this fall get a test done by Enterolab.

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I have had allergy testing on my back and was very allergic. However, this only shows inhalent allergies and not food which is totally different. Sounds like that is what you had. Have you done an elemination diet to see which foods bother you other than gluten? Also, have you had the test from enterolabs? I guess I'm not so bad. I'm almost 55 and still searching for answers after a life time of being sick.

:-) Hugs, Carol B

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I had gone to eating just meat, fruit, veggies, and dairy. When I ate the rice is when I had a bad reaction, so I knew what it was. Since I did test positive for grass, I started looking to see what all is a grass, and found the others. Now I am wondering if the allergy and food intolerances are somehow interconnected. I feel better without any grains at all, so until I get the Enterolab testing done, I will just avoid all grains.

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That's interesting. I wonder if anyone has gotten their celiac disease and whatever else they have problems with under control and eleminated their inhalent allergies. I'm about to start allergy shots. In fact, the allergist I went to felt that all my symtpoms over the years were just my immune system over reacting due to my being sick all the time growing up. Sounds good but I never understood how just doing allergy treatments would rid my body of all these different things. I will continue with him however this gluten-free/celiac disease thing comes out. Hugs, Carol B (who hasn't learned how to use the smilies ect or I'd use them. :-) )

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Dessa - positive scratch testing to grasses does not mean you are allergic to all grains - allergists typically only do the tests for varieties of grasses that grow in your geographic area and produce pollen. Most allergists are looking for allergens (ie triggers that cause a reaction) that are inhaled (ie pollens). Food allergies are not typically diagnosed by skin testing. So your positive test to grasses means that you react to the pollen of grasses that you inhale on windy days during pollen season (ususally spring and summer) or that you contact with your skin (by sitting on grassy lawns).

As for your reaction to rice cakes...you may be allergic to rice (although this is not a commen allergy) or you may be sensitive to something in the rice cake (flavorings or contamination by the factory)...to test yourself, try eating plain boiled rice that you make yourself, or baby rice cereal.

yes, you can be both allergic to wheat and a celiac...it is good to know the difference because with celiac disease you need to avoid all gluten , not just wheat. A celiac might test positive on skin testing to wheat if he gets skin reactions to gluten contact. Someone with a wheat allergy only (not celiac disease) will only have temporary (although can be severe) reactions to ingestion, but someone with celiac disease who ingests gluten will trigger all sorts of autoimmune reactions that can have long-lasting and multi-system effects.

I also have significant environmental allergies (dust and mold) and have just started allergy shots after years of misery despite multiple medications. I don't think there is any relation between celiac disease and allergies - they are mediated by different pathways in the immune system.

does this help?

Sara

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Thank you, Sara, for the information. The allergist said that my reaction to food is not "allergic", but an intestinal one. I just have never had a food make my tongue go numb and my mouth swell before. I'm not sure what is going on with my body and food, so I will be asking my regular doctor a lot of questions on the third!

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