Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Low Serum Iga
0

10 posts in this topic

I got a call from the doc's office today, and spoke with his nurse. My test results are back, and everything was "normal" (hormones, thyroid, nutrients, no lupus) except serum IgA, which was low. I know that low IgA can mean the possibility of celiac, since other tests in the celiac panel are meaningless if serum IgA is low. Low IgA also means I'm at risk for GI problems, autoimmune diseases, and recurrent infections, right?

I'm worried that since it's low, my other results won't be accurate (for thyroid, lupus, etc.). I have read posts about members having "normal" thyroid panels, but still feeling hypo- or hyper-thyroid and having symptoms. Thoughts on this? Does low IgA affect OTHER tests besides the celiac panel?

I was reading somewhere that low IgA means an increased chance for food allergies and intolerances, but of course, now I can't find where I read that...

The doctor has prescribed Flagyl for me, and I'm kind of confused about that...it's prescribed to fight bacterial infections, though I don't think I've "got" anything right now. Is this just a precautionary thing to help my intestines?

I have a follow-up appt. next Wednesday. I am requesting copies of my labs.

What questions should I ask?

What do I need to pursue?

Does anyone have low IgA/IgA deficiency (are they the same thing?) and what has that caused you?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

I am IgA deficient, and other than the fact that I know, it means nothing to me. I don't get sick any more than the next person; actually, I rarely get sick. In fact, until after my son was born, I could eat anything and not get sick. And someone could literally throw up on me, and I probably wouldn't get the "bug" that they had.

IgA, I believe, is made in mass quantities in the GI system, which is why the celiac panel is based on it. The next step for you would be the IgG version of the tTg test, and possibly a genetic panel to see what your risk is. Are you still doing the challenge?

So, I'm not sure that every IgA low person is immediately at risk for anything. My GI tells me that it's no big deal unless you just don't make any at all. Then your chances to catch lots of things would increase. It's not uncommon to have low IgA. I'd think that by now, you would know if you're the "sickly" type... by that I mean catching any and everything that comes along.

Another thing you need to realize is that if you have Celiac, the sooner you go gluten free the less risk you have of developing those other AI diseases. I possess two copies of the DQ2 gene, which is associated with Type 1 Diabetes. Now, I believe that had I not have caught the celiac as early as I did, I probably would've ended up with IDD, or lupus (which is in my family) or something else. But, because I have the Celiac under control and my immune system is not going crazy, but rather working properly, I probably won't develop these things. That's a mighty large incentive for me NOT to cheat.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not really a "sickly" person, but as a kid I got sick a lot, and when I was being actively treated for Graves Disease, I had a respiratory infection or ear infection (or both) usually about every 3 weeks. (But I believe that was from PTU, which lowers immunal resistance.) For a while I was getting UTIs every couple of months. In the past year, I seem to have been getting sick a LOT more than my co-workers, a cold or something every 3-4 weeks or so (it probably has to do with the fact that I work with a lot of children.) But I'm not deathly ill.

I called the office back, and the Flagyl was prescribed as a "precautionary measure" to see if that helps with my GI symptoms. Now, unless bacteria are selective about when they strike (say, after any and all meals containing gluten) then I doubt bacteria is my problem. And this seems like a careless thing to do, prescribing an antibiotic to someone who has neither been tested nor has complained of GI symptoms lacking a specific cause (i.e. food induced) or one that even seems infectious in nature. I have yet to take the flagyl, I was going to wait until tomorrow--I will check that it is gluten-free. I really don't even want to take it at all.

He also suggested that I stop the challenge, which I am more than happy to do. It is rather obvious that gluten is a problem (I won't go in to details, but it's been a miserable week.) Apparently the head GI feels that even with my original celiac panel, it would have been positive if I "really were celiac" even though they did not test total IgA in original panel and this recent testing has shown that my IgA is low. I thought if IgA is low then all numbers will be low? Now I'm reconsidering the faith I have in them...

I'm not jonesing to be diagnosed as celiac, that's not some dream of mine; my worry is to be UNDIAGNOSED or MISDIAGNOSED and to develop complications from that or to have other related problems go undiagnosed because of an inconclusive blood test.

Is gene testing something that's done through bloodwork or saliva or something? Would I get that done at the GI's office? Is there a benefit to doing it? Is it something likely to be covered by insurance?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not jonesing to be diagnosed as celiac, that's not some dream of mine; my worry is to be UNDIAGNOSED or MISDIAGNOSED and to develop complications from that or to have other related problems go undiagnosed because of an inconclusive blood test.

None of us are. It sucks. BUT, my concern was the same as yours... I understand how you feel. When I read what undiagnosed celiac can do, it really freaked me out. And then when you put yourself on the diet, (which I did), you wonder is this working because I so desparately wanted something to work? Is there something larger at work? Having a definite answer is a wonderful thing.

Is gene testing something that's done through bloodwork or saliva or something? Would I get that done at the GI's office? Is there a benefit to doing it? Is it something likely to be covered by insurance?

It's a blood test. My GI ordered it through Prometheus. My GP told me that if she ordered it, insurance would not pay for it, but it would through a GI. I had my test done in May, and I'm still back and forth with them and my insurance company. For once, it's actually NOT insurance that's to fault... Prometheus is dragging their feet and has not submitted the claim properly. So, we'll see what happens.

The benefit for me was finding out that I was double DQ2, so I was in the highest possible risk for developing celiac disease. My doctor used that information along with my dietary response to diagnose me. He also told me that without the "gold standard" biopsy I should be on the lookout for any thing out of the ordinary as that could be indicative of something else. A year into my diet, I'm feeling like a new person. It's safe to say that I have celiac and no other underlying issues. So, it was a huge benefit in my circumstance.

It kept me from having to do a gluten challenge, because his next step was to do a biopsy. He flat out told me that I would never test positive on a regular celiac panel even if I was half dead. He felt very strongly that we needed to know for sure so that he could better keep track of my health. And I respect him a great deal for that. It's something you really should talk to your GI about as an alternative, especially if he told you to stop the challenge.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lizard, I will ask him about gene testing at my next appointment. Something tells me he won't be overjoyed about the idea, but I'll discuss it anyway. Like you said, the NOT KNOWING is very scary. I keep thinking, "OK, if it's not celiac, it's gluten intolerance, fine, but WHAT ELSE is wrong with me? What caused the gluten intolerance, do I have other AI diseases?" I'm very much a person who needs closure and finality in things.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




You might be surprised. I kind of thought the same with my GI, but because of the low IgA and the detriment of a gluten challenge, it was really the only other option. So, to have something a little more solid, he may want to do it. It's not conclusive in itself, but it may be enough for him to say, ok... we know you have this, stay gluten free and let's see how you do. if you continue to improve and nothing new appears, then we have our answer. if this doesn't work, then we go from there.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, good point. I hope my doc will be as willing to work with me on this as yours was with you! :)

This gluten challenge has SUCKED, but at least it's reaffirmed the fact that I do have a serious problem with gluten. After I'd been gluten-free (for only a few weeks!) it's almost like I forgot how bad I felt eating gluten...and was afraid it was all in my head. It's definitely not in my head. Even though I've been miserable (and had new/different symptoms appear) I know that gluten-free is THE ONLY way I can eat now, regardless of diagnosis. Still, I'd like to know for sure.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lizard, I will ask him about gene testing at my next appointment. Something tells me he won't be overjoyed about the idea, but I'll discuss it anyway. Like you said, the NOT KNOWING is very scary. I keep thinking, "OK, if it's not celiac, it's gluten intolerance, fine, but WHAT ELSE is wrong with me? What caused the gluten intolerance, do I have other AI diseases?" I'm very much a person who needs closure and finality in things.

Hi, I have enjoyed this thread because my dd has low IgA and I'm always trying to figure out if I should have gone further to determine if she has celiac. She does have a positive IgG test though so she is gluten intolerant. I have found that so many things have improved since going gluten free that I imagine that if you are "just" gluten intolerant, you may find that so many things improve and may no longer feel like there is anything else wrong. I hope so anyway! I know what you mean though. I really wish I knew one way or the other about my dd.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, I have enjoyed this thread because my dd has low IgA and I'm always trying to figure out if I should have gone further to determine if she has celiac. She does have a positive IgG test though so she is gluten intolerant. I have found that so many things have improved since going gluten free that I imagine that if you are "just" gluten intolerant, you may find that so many things improve and may no longer feel like there is anything else wrong. I hope so anyway! I know what you mean though. I really wish I knew one way or the other about my dd.

Maybe it's something you could pursue in the future, maybe when she's older and needs proof that she needs to stick to the gluten-free diet. You could always do it now, (putting the Enterolab discussion aside... ( :D )) through Enterolab. Their genetic results are not the hot topic with them; the downside is that they don't test for the entire chain. Or ask your daughter's doctor the next time around. Testing for genes can be done whenever you decide to go that route.

(The only reason I suggested in the future is because I see that your daughter is young, and I've had my 3 yr old tested for Celiac. NOT a fun process!)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(The only reason I suggested in the future is because I see that your daughter is young, and I've had my 3 yr old tested for Celiac. NOT a fun process!)

Yeah, you confirmed what I was thinking about her age. She's been through so much already that I can't bear to do the biopsy only to have it possibly come back negative! I keep thinking about enterolab... can't decide!

My 7 yr old gets her celiac test tomorrow. Depending on her results, maybe it will help me decide what to do, maybe, lol. Anyway, thanks for your response!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,640
    • Total Posts
      921,546
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • You should never have cut out gluten until you had the biopsy done. It's much worse to have to go back on after you've been off gluten for a while. There's no way I could ever do the gluten challenge after being off gluten for even a month because my reactions got so dramatically worse.  Stress definately can trigger celiac- before I was diagnosed - it got the worst after surgery and after a stressful time planning my daughters wedding. 
    • Hi not diagnosed celiac, Welcome to the forum! Your doctor should be sent to remedial celiac disease training.  Since that probably won't happen, I suggest you find a new doctor.  He doesn't know what he's doing when it comes to diagnosing celiac disease. You should not have gone gluten-free before completing all celiac disease testing.  The testing for celiac disease depends on the immune reaction being active.  Removing gluten before testing removes the antigen that causes the immune system to react, and lowers the chances of getting a correct test result dramatically.  The University of Chicago celiac disease center recommends: ******************************************** http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/what-is-a-gluten-challenge/ Prior to blood testing we recommend 12 weeks of eating gluten. Prior to an endoscopic biopsy we recommend 2 weeks of eating gluten. In the case of a severe reaction to gluten, a medical professional may opt to shorten the 12-week challenge and move immediately to an endoscopic biopsy. May, 2013 ******************************************** So you will need to go back to eating gluten before your endoscopy.  That may cause worse symptoms than before when you were eating gluten.  So it would have been better to do all testing before going gluten-free. Can you search for a celiac disease support group in your area?  They exist in many parts of the USA and world.  They can be a good place to get a knowledgeable doctor recommendation.  There is also a doctors subsection of this forum where you can search to see if any doctors in your area were recommended.
    • I get these crazy cravings for some things I can not eat anymore. Not only am I diagnosed with celiac but I also have a allergy to corn, olives, sesame, peanuts, and intolerance to yeast, soy, dairy, and a very low tolerance for carbs/sugars, Top it off with I can not digest meats or egg yolks, they just give me the burps and come up later.
        To deal with these I find myself turning to Republic of Teas (They have a great desert tea line up all certified gluten-free) and sweetening them with monk fruit extract, or stevia. And I find myself making Puddings bases that I use for shakes, dips, and ice-cream for meals. The puddings are normally a blend of cashew, or almond milk with a thickening agent like agar agar, pectin, or knoxx gelatin, blended with a sweetener like xylitol, swerve, stevia, monk fruit or a combination. And flavored with Lor Ann Oils (all gluten-free certified and you can find the kosher ones listed as such) super strength flavors or fountain syrups to match something I can not eat normally a combination of two flavors (Strawberry Cheesecake, Banana and Carmel, Cookies & Cream, etc) Then I add a fat that matches best, like almond butter, cashew butter, hemp butter, ground flax seed, coconut flour, chocolate, Pumpkin seed butter or a combination) These bases are normally blended up and consumed with 1-2 scoops of protein powder and eaten with steamed vegges as a side dip or loaded into a ice cream maker for a desert after my meals.      Also found myself making desert soups....like a pumpkin soup that taste like pumpkin pie. I am sure we all have our little quirks but this is one of mine for getting that sweet craving taken care of. Most premade items are off my list due to the allergies and it seems most companies use the oils, starches I am allergic to as non stick or thickening agents, Even the semi safe ones tend to put way to much sugars in them and I find myself only being able to nibble . There is also my little binge issues with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and, cocoa but that was explained to me as normal And on my most craving for peanuts I have found sancha inchi powder to work great, The Powder itself taste like the girl scout peanut butter cookie sandwich from my childhood, And is great mixed with a bit of almond milk into a butter or used in baking and smoothies. Before this I have been making Artisan blends of almond butter for years and even made a market selling them to pay  for my own consumption. Baked goods wise I have a bunch of recipes I make for others and sell at markets and this allows me to nibble on a sample to check it, as most contain a bean or gluten-free Harvest Oats/Flour in them and the carbs from that and the coconut sugars bother me. Still helps with cravings there, I only have 2 recipes that sell good and are safe for me to eat full servings of but are so expensive as they use almond and coconut flours, low sugars/xylitol and are paleo that I only can afford to make them once a month. Posting to hear about some odd and out there ways others deal with substitutions and cravings. Please do not bash mine as odd as they might be as they keep me from going crazy. (Yes I know DROP THE OATS, fact is I only get them when tasting stuff and they are gluten-free Harvest, the only ones I have never gotten glutend with)  
    • After suffering pretty much all year with one illness after another I've finally managed to get a diagnosis and it turns out to be celiac. After my doctors consistently failing to even consider the possibility it might be that (as opposed to "IBS" or "stress") I kept pushing for the Iga TTg test and it was off the charts with a score of >128... may as well fail it in style I guess. So here I am at the start of what feels like the end of my life as I know it. Been doing nothing but reading for the past week and frankly it's terrifying. Here's a few things that are going round in my head and I'd really appreciate your thoughts with. Apologies if it's a bit of an essay  Diagnosis I'm still furious at my doctors for not even entertaining the thought that celiac could be the root cause of all my ills. Given the blood test is so simple it feels almost negligent that they don't run this right at the start to rule it out. Instead I got subjected to poisons like Omeprazole which made me even more ill, whilst being told the physical symptoms were all in my head. Just as well I knew better and kept hitting up Google until my self-diagnosis was proved correct... to think these people get paid highly to be so incompetent makes my blood boil. Does feel good having outwitted the so-called professionals though. Seems 9 months is comparatively quick from symptoms to diagnosis compared to some others that have gone years with the problems so could be worse I guess. Food and diet I'm male vegetarian (non-negotiable) which makes this even harder as so many of my protein sources are now ruled out. Seems many with celiac were having trouble losing weight whereas I'm in the opposite situation. Already lost best part of a stone in the past few weeks and it's becoming noticeable now. The MyFitnessPal app reckons I need 2600 calories a day to maintain \ gain weight - no idea where that's going to come from. On top of that I read sites like Gluten Dude where even the Gluten Free foods are seen as poisons and going on extreme diets like Paleo \ SCD are the only real way forward. Again being veggie makes that practically impossible and if I'm unlucky enough to end up with the dairy issues as well I'm well and truly stuffed. Right now I'm trying the gluten-free Quorn products to see how I go, as well as more eggs etc. Porridge has been my go-to breakfast in the mornings for a while after I cut out bread whilst self-diagnosing but depending on where you read even that's a potential problem (currently using gluten-free porridge oats and seeing how it goes) Seems many gluten-free people have to go right back to basics and cook everything from scratch. That's a problem for me as I'm utterly hopeless on that front and time doesn't permit waiting hours just to prepare one meal. Seems nigh-on impossible to do day-in, day-out. Health Rightly or wrongly right now I see this diagnosis as a death sentence long-term. Looks like it brings other associated illnesses with it and this particular article really scares me: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/the-gluten-free-lie-why-most-celiacs-are-slowly-dying/ I've only really had noticeable symptoms for the past year or so but wonder how long this has been going on for and what damage has already been done. All seems to have started from when I turned 30 (knew I was dreading that age for a reason) and right now I wonder how long I'm going to last before the really bad stuff starts. One of the other illnesses I'd considered as a possibility before getting diagnosed was Hashimoto's Thyroiditis; now it seems that's closely linked with Celiac so may not be out of the woods with that yet either. Just seems to be one big list of illness all triggered from the same point One positive change I've noticed thus far since cutting out gluten is that bloating seems to have gone down and bowel movements are better. Still getting headaches and muscle twitching, which could be as much a withdrawal symptom from gluten as anything else.  Some sites were suggesting stopping exercise whilst withdrawing but I can't face that as it's the only thing keeping me going at present. Again will keep going as-was and see what happens. Then to top it off it sounds like the next step is the biopsy - I'm scared of being put out for the procedure as a member of family went into hospital a few years back for something supposedly routine and never came back out. From what I've been told it's important to have done though as it shows just how broken the villi are so another thing to worry about in the meantime. I've just read on another thread that you have to be on gluten to have the test, that's another kicker after having started to cut it out the diet. With such a high blood test Iga-TTg score isn't it almost certain that celiac is the cause and the endoscopy in this case is just confirming levels of damage? OK means I can have a final blow-out eating all the "bad" foods but no doubt with all the side effects that come with it... Social life Seems like despite there being some gluten free options in certain restaurants (granted better now than years ago) I'm going to be hugely limited in food options. Either sitting on the side looking on or just plain not able to go out much anymore. Already had the first hitting-home moment watching colleagues eating pastries that were brought in while I just have to look on... then it dawns that this is never going to get better... urghhh Family life I'm really struggling to accept this lifelong illness and loss of health and it's taking a toll on the people around me at the moment. They won't be going gluten-free so will have to take my chances with the mixed kitchen environment; already gone with split toasters etc. so can't do much more than that. Dating Basically seems game over on that front, unlike many who are diagnosed with understanding partners \ spouses I'm still in the dating game, which is judgemental enough as it is without all the complications that the gluten issues bring. I'm reading even kissing someone with lipstick \ make-up is apparently a big no-no... once any date hears that they won't be coming back... forever alone status confirmed is how it looks right now. Overall feelings I still can't quite figure out if this illness was in me all along and just hasn't flared up enough to notice until now or whether the extreme stress I've been under for the past year or so has triggered it. If the second scenario is correct I can't stop thinking about the events that all led up to this almost year-long bout of ill health and life-changing diagnosis. Can celiac be brought on by stress alone or realistically was I always a ticking timebomb just waiting to be set off? For every person I see that's had a positive change after cutting out gluten (and getting by with reasonably achievable adjustments) there seems to be 10 others with horrible side-effects and long-term complications. Right now the future feels rather bleak - like all hope just been taken away. Help???
    • It sounds like you're doing great. That's amazing that your anxiety has decreased like that. You're obviously doing something really good for your health. With the other things I'm sure they will get better in time. After I gave up gluten I had a bad year but overall it got better. Things like anxiety and insomnia massively improved over time with being gluten free. However, going Paleo (which you are on your way to with the no dairy too) really helped my anxiety, as did running and self-taught acupressure. In particular I found processed gluten free foods were awful for my mood. I know you have to find your own way but I really want to encourage you to see how you feel without that if you haven't already. I also can't afford therapy but when I did have it, that helped too but just being well, gives you the chance to sort your own thoughts and feelings out even without a therapist. Good luck
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,643
    • Most Online
      3,093

    Newest Member
    moojoo
    Joined