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Benefits Of Gluten Challenge Before Genetic Testing?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 lobbyart

 
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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:18 AM

Hi there,

I'm in the midst of getting diagnosed, mainly to find out whether I have celiac or non-celiac gluten intolerance. I went off gluten to see if it would improve my symptoms, not realizing I would have to be on it in order to do testing. My PCP didn't want me to suffer by going back on for the blood work, so I did the first round of blood tests without having ingested gluten for over a month.

I'm wondering, since I can't get a straight answer, what the benefit is of doing a gluten challenge to get blood work done versus doing the genetic test first. (My insurance will cover the genetic test...) It seems like the blood tests with celiac are so unreliable...

Anyway, I'd appreciate any insight you all have gotten over the years!

Thanks in advance!
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#2 psawyer

 
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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:23 AM

The genetic test, while interesting, can not diagnose celiac disease. Many people carry one or more of the genetic markers usually associated with celiac disease, but never actually develop the disease. Most doctors believe that an negative result on the gene test rules out celiac disease, but there is evidence that there may be other genes. Doctors in Europe are more likely to recognized those factors than those in North America.

Your genes are your genes, and eating or not eating gluten will not affect the results of genetic testing.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#3 lobbyart

 
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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:26 AM

Thanks psawyer... I know that the genetic test won't diagnose, but I guess I was curious as to why it isn't done first to find out whether it's even possible I have it before I put myself through the awfulness of eating gluten again. It's helpful to know it isn't conclusive, though.
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#4 Cara in Boston

 
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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:53 AM

The genetic test really doesn't give you much helpful information and in some cases, (my son) can lead your doctor to believe you DON'T have it. There are always exceptions, so having the common genes or not really doesn't mean much. My son's genes said "not likely" but his intestines said "absolutely".

What tests did the doctor do after you were gluten free? Any blood test other then the genetic one will be useless. You are not likely to have any antibodies after being gluten free for so long. My blood tests went from positive to negative after only 10 days.

cara
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#5 lobbyart

 
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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

Thanks, Cara. My doc wants to avoid having me suffer as much as possible, so she wanted to try the initial antibody tests, knowing that they would probably come out negative.

I guess I'll know to question the genetic test results when they come... I'm sure you can all understand my unwillingness to gluten myself!
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#6 Gemini

 
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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

Thanks, Cara. My doc wants to avoid having me suffer as much as possible, so she wanted to try the initial antibody tests, knowing that they would probably come out negative.

I guess I'll know to question the genetic test results when they come... I'm sure you can all understand my unwillingness to gluten myself!


It is always beneficial to do genetic testing because if positive, can add 1 more test to your arsenal of knowledge. Yes, it can come out negative for the predisposition for celiac but that just may mean you are NCGI....which means you still need to be gluten-free if you feel a lot better on the diet. If you really suffer when eating gluten to the point where your doctor does not want you to do a gluten challenge, I think you have your answer.....no gluten for you! ;) Honestly, I know people who are NCGI and their symptoms are as bad as mine when glutened.
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