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Positive For Iga, Negative Biopsy, Mild Symptoms


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#1 Guest_lauren_*

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:12 AM

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I've had very soft/loose stools for more than 6 months straight. No other symptoms. 2 months into it, I went to my primary care physician, who gave me a blood test. I tested positive for only one of the wheat-related antibodies (IgA).

So I went to see a gastroenterologist who performed a endoscopy and colonoscopy, looking for clues of any and all diseases, including Celiac. Results were negative across the board.

Since then, I've been keeping a detailed food diary to try to discern a pattern of what exacerbates the soft stools. No pattern.

So now I'm trying the gluten-free diet. So far no changes.

My questions are:
1) How long will I need to be gluten-free before noticing any improvement?
2) Is it possible to have Celiac Disease and only have this for a symptom?
3) Can biopsies be incorrect?
4) Any other insights or ideas?

Thanks very much,
Lauren
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#2 lovegrov

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:59 AM

Iga is one of the more specific tests for celiac and false positives are almost unknown. As a result, testing positive on the Iga along with symptoms means there's a pretty high percentage chance you have celiac disease or are in the stages headed toward celiac disease.

Biopsies are not infallible for a few reasons. You might be at a stage where there isn't any obvious damage. Or what damage you do have is so spotty the samples missed it (he should have taken at 10-12 samples; if he took just a couple he didn't take enough). Or your doctor thinks you have to have completely flattened villi to have celiac disease. Most experts now consider it celiac disease with a lot less damage.

Symptoms can run the gamut. I know people who have been positive on blood and biopsy and have had not the slightest symptom. Most of these people were tested by blood first because they were a first-degree relative of somebody with celiac disease.

Some people feel better almost immediately and others take weeks or even months. But most will notice some difference relatively soon.

richard
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