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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Blood Test Can Tell Celiac from Non-Celiac Patients By Cytokine Levels

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Professor Knut Lundin, University of Oslo, presented the data at United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2017.


    Caption: Photo: CC--NIAID

    Celiac.com 11/13/2017 - ImmusanT, Inc., the company working to develop a therapeutic vaccine to protect HLADQ2.5+ patients with celiac disease against the effects of gluten, presented data that shows a way to tell the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitive (NCGS) based on cytokine levels.

    Professor Knut Lundin, University of Oslo, presented the data at United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2017.

    The results are important, in part because many people go on a gluten-free diet before they ever get diagnosed with celiac disease. It's hard for doctors to ask these people to start eating gluten again so that they can be properly diagnosed. But that's how it currently works. If there are no anti-gliadin antibodies in your blood, current tests are not accurate.

    These data suggest that it is possible to spot celiac disease through plasma or blood test. Along with easier, more accurate celiac diagnoses, a blood test would be a major breakthrough because "patients would only be required to consume gluten on one occasion and would still achieve accurate results," said Robert Anderson, MBChB, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ImmusanT.

    The test may also help people who do not have celiac disease, but find symptom relief on a gluten-free diet. For these people, gluten may not be the cause of their symptoms and a gluten-free diet may be totally unnecessary.

    The latest data support the company's approach to "developing a simple blood test for diagnosing celiac disease without the discomfort and inconvenience of current testing methods. This would be the first biomarker for measuring systemic T-cell immunity to gluten," said Leslie Williams, Chief Executive Officer of ImmusanT.

    As development is ongoing, further tests are expected to flesh out the details.

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    This article seems to imply that the only cause for gluten problems is Celiac: "The test may also help people who do not have celiac disease, but find symptom relief on a gluten-free diet. For these people, gluten may not be the cause of their symptoms and a gluten-free diet may be totally unnecessary."While this technically is true, it suggests that people without celiac need to figure out what's bothering them since gluten can be ruled out. Seems to me like all the test can really do is rule out celiac. I am one of those whose IGA (IGE... whatever it is) test is inconclusive. I'm interested in this new test, but only so when people ask, I can say yes or no, not "I don't know and don't want to OD on gluten and then have an invasive procedure that costs several thousand dollars and won't be particularly helpful anyhow." Long story short, try not to feed the myth that gluten affects only those with celiac. Thanks!

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    My daughter has had s terrible time getting diagnosed. Our doctor thinks she is through with tests but the gastro thinks it's just constipation, though our daughter's bowels bleed and are pale also her lymph areas get really sore and much more her bruising is terrible and I'm scared a long time in the future she will have disabled children As she can not accumulate the vitamins and minerals necessary for pregnancy. Please can you tell me what to do so I can get this testing above started here for her ?

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    Since I get a 3-5 day long migraine when I eat gluten, I think the necessity of eating even one meal with gluten in it is too much. We need a test that doesn't require one to eat any gluten and still has accurate results.

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    This article seems to imply that the only cause for gluten problems is Celiac: "The test may also help people who do not have celiac disease, but find symptom relief on a gluten-free diet. For these people, gluten may not be the cause of their symptoms and a gluten-free diet may be totally unnecessary."While this technically is true, it suggests that people without celiac need to figure out what's bothering them since gluten can be ruled out. Seems to me like all the test can really do is rule out celiac. I am one of those whose IGA (IGE... whatever it is) test is inconclusive. I'm interested in this new test, but only so when people ask, I can say yes or no, not "I don't know and don't want to OD on gluten and then have an invasive procedure that costs several thousand dollars and won't be particularly helpful anyhow." Long story short, try not to feed the myth that gluten affects only those with celiac. Thanks!

    Both things can be true. Gluten can affect people without celiac disease (such as DH). However, research shows that there is a class of people who may not have celiac disease, and whose symptoms may not be caused by celiac disease. For those people, knowing the difference could be very helpful.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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