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Positive Wheat Antibodies, Not Celiac


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#1 bonnieo

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 06:18 PM

I have been reading this forum to try to understand if my 7-year-old son could have celiac disease. His doctor suggested that it was possible based on his symptoms and ordered blood work. As most of you know, it takes about a week for the results to come back. When you're talking about a sick child...a week is an awfully long time. Here's a summary of what happened and the doctor's interpretation of the blood test results:

1st blood draw (wheat and milk allergy tests ordered); stop consuming dairy, keep consuming wheat

symptoms improve

Results of 1st blood draw (1 week later) show positive for IGG and IGA -- indicates possible celiac

Doctor ordered 2nd blood draw for more specific wheat antibodies

Results of 2nd blood draw (another week later) show negative for TTG and endomysial iga -- indicates not celiac. But this didn't make sense to me after reading the Enterolab and Dr. Fine articles referred to throughout this forum. I was concered that my son was "glutent sensitive" but not yet celiac. From the information presented on those sites, I had the [incorrect] understanding that wheat antibodies only show up in the blood stream if one is "gluten sensitive" (keep reading for an explanation why they might be there even if one is not "gluten sensitive"). I'm not sure if I misunderstood the Enterolab information or if it is incorrect/misleading.

4 days later the results of the milk allergy (casein) finally came through -- strong positive. It took 19 days for a test that normally takes a week.

So the doctor's conclusion is that my son is allergic to casein (that means milk and anything that is made with milk). His “gut” is damaged because his body is attacking the casein he consumes. He called this “leaky gut”…meaning small particles of food (including wheat) leak out of his digestive tract into his body. His immune system attacks these small particles of food like germs and produce antibodies against them. So if his gut heals, the wheat will stay in the digestive tract where it belongs and his blood tests should no longer show antibodies to wheat. So, it’s important for him to avoid milk and anything that is made from milk to allow his gut to heal. After a few months of this the doctor will check his blood for wheat antibodies again. If the wheat antibodies are still present, we either didn’t do a good job avoiding milk or he really is sensitive to wheat. It all finally makes sense!

So there really is another explanation for positive wheat antibodies other than celiac and/or gluten sensitivity. I had heard that there are others...but nothing specific.

The information on this forum really helped me understand what questions to ask. I hope the information I posted here helps someone else!!
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#2 mat4mel

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 01:37 PM

That is very interesting.. I asked once before it anybody knew what other reasons there could be for an elevated IgG and IgA.. nobody could answer me. This is very frustrating b/c my 2 yr old did not have the other tests you are talking about, and everyone is telling me that she has Celiac simply on the two antigliadin antibodies being high.

She has been gluten free for almost a week and is still having stomach cramps and diarrhea. I have been *very* careful and there is no way she could have gotten any gluten. I have suspected some sort of food allergies and asked several people if they could be causing her diarrhea, but nobody will give me an answer. I can't get into the allergist until October, and the GI dr appt is not until July. My regular pediatrician doesn't seem to have any idea what he's doing, just told me to try the gluten free diet and see if it helps.

She has also been off casein as well this week. I am frustrated I can't get clear answers, and now your post makes me wonder. I am glad your son does not have Celiac. You must be so relieved.

Mel
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#3 bonnieo

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 05:55 PM

Here's what worked for us:

When we went to the pediatrician to discuss my son's issue, I took a detailed write-up describing my son's on-going symptoms. The doctor took me very seriously. I know it's difficult to talk to the doctor when you're trying to keep a two-year-old from touching everything in the exam room. If your child has serious, chronic problems, the doctor should help you get to the right specialist as soon as possible. It may be helpful to have another adult with you to take care of your daughter while you talk to the doctor. The doctor may not understand how serious you think the problem is. If you do your best to communicate with the doctor and you still feel like your child is not getting the prompt attention she needs, I would go to another doctor.
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