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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    Blood Testing for Celiac Disease Isn't Very Accurate


    Tina Turbin

    This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2010 edition of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.


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    Celiac.com 01/10/2011 - As an author, researcher, and gluten-free advocate, I work hard to raise awareness for celiac disease and gluten issues, particularly when it comes to increasing the diagnosis rate. Part and parcel of improving diagnosis is proper testing. Evidence is mounting that indicates that blood testing may not be the most effective way to test for celiac disease, and I would recommend that people who suspect they have celiac disease to check with their doctors about other testing options.

    Celiac disease, which is essentially an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, affects approximately three million Americans, but according to estimates, only three percent of them have been properly diagnosed with the disease. Once celiac disease is diagnosed, treatment is simple—following a gluten-free diet. With so many American celiacs going without a diagnosis,  this painful and potentially fatal autoimmune disorder, with its easy method of treatment, attention needs to be focused on effective, efficient testing.

    Although awareness of celiac disease and gluten-free living is increasing in the various medical fields, accurate and reliable testing has not been definitively tackled or uniformly implemented by medical practitioners. Currently a popular method of testing is a blood test, but some people with celiac disease can get blood testing many times and the results will nevertheless be negative.

    Although blood testing has been successful in diagnosing some people with celiac disease, this method is inaccurate at least 80 percent of the time, according to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, Blood Chemistry Seminar instructor and the formulator for Apex Energetics, Inc. supplements. To understand how blood testing works, a basic grasp of the workings of the immune system is essential. Antibodies are part of the immune system and designed to attack specific antigens, or invaders, of the body. Tests can be conducted that find an increase of antibodies in the system, which are on the prowl for certain foreign invaders. Specifically, anti-gliadin, or anti-gluten antibodies, can be tested for; when these exist in the system in large amounts, it is a sign of the autoimmune disorder, celiac disease. Although this may sound workable in theory, in practice blood testing is insufficient and inaccurate due to the fact that the autoimmune response doesn’t occur in the blood stream, but in the small intestine, as the immune system attacks this organ’s absorptive finger-like structures called villi which line the inside. Thus, for the sake of reliability, this suggests that testing should be focused on the gut.

    So what method can we turn to? Fortunately, there is another method apart from an intestinal biopsy, which is an invasive as well as expensive procedure. It turns out that the immune cells which surround the gut also can be located in large numbers in the stool, making a stool anti-gliadin antibody test a reliable alternative to blood testing.

    Stool testing may be more accurate than blood testing and is more convenient. One doesn’t need a doctor’s prescription for the test, which can be conducted in the privacy of one’s own home with an online-ordered kit from EnteroLab, which according to its website, is “a registered and fully accredited clinical laboratory specializing in the analysis of intestinal specimens for food sensitivities.”

    Enterolab offers the Anti-Gliadin Antibodies Stool Test as well as additional tests which can be ordered may be important diagnostic tools for people who have celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity. These additional tests include the Tissue Transglutaminase Stool Test, which tests whether gluten is actively attacking the intestine and other tissues, the Malabsorption Test, used to determine whether the intestine is malabsorbing nutrients due to the autoimmune reaction to gluten, or the Celiac and Gluten-Sensitivity Gene Test. The lab also offers a Milk Sensitivity Test, which tests for reactions to casein, a milk protein

    With millions of celiac Americans living with their disease undiagnosed, we can’t afford to waste time with inaccurate and inefficient testing. The anti-gliadin antibodies stool test, so easily available to the public, is a great stride forward for the celiac community.

    Talk with your health care provider today about this alternative to celiac blood testing.


    Image Caption: Tina Turbin is an author, researcher, and gluten-free advocate.
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    Guest bo denski

    Posted

    Does not cite any scientific literature just the company selling the stuff. Do a pubmed search, talk to a few doctors that will go on record, then the article.

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    Guest Kristine

    Posted

    All the "scientific evidence" comes from companies who market products like supplements and other nontraditional treatments, such as Apex Energetics and EnteroLab. Celiac.com should weed out such marketing efforts that are posing as objective science.

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    Guest CeliBelli

    Posted

    Ms. Trubin displays a dismally poor grasp of human anatomy and autoimmune response. Based on her logic, there could be no grounds for the correlation between celiac disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. And yet there is such a correlation, just as there is a correlation between celiac disease and lymphoma. Why? Because - contrary to Ms. Turbin's assertion that celiac all happens in the gut - Celiac is a systemic disease that involves complex processes all over the body. Those processes entail the communication of antibodies throughout the body via the blood stream. While it is true old methods of blood testing were not as reliable, there are labs that have developed highly accurate blood and saliva tests both for celiac antibody and genetic testing. Among these are Prometheus Lab based in San Diego, and Kimball Genetics in Denver. Both use the most advanced testing available for celiac disease available today. And both now offer cheek swab testing which can be done at home.

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    As far as I know, NO medical community agrees with stool testing as having any indication to suggest celiac disease. Furthermore, many people can have positive anti-gliadin antibodies and NOT have Celiac. Anti-gliadin is false positive in many subgroups of people, hence why it is not usually used anymore to diagnose celiac. Stool antibodies are even less specific as far as I know. Enterolab has not ever released its work for peer review, so there is little data to say stool testing means anything other then your immune system has simply had exposure to the food protein in question and remembers it. It may or may not mean anything. I do think the article raises some good questions, though.

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    I also wanted to add that EMA blood testing is almost 100% specific for Celiac (although not quite that sensitive), so it is very accurate in that regard. Mayo Clinic now also uses a form of an IgG anti-gliadin test and/or another test they designed (I forget the name) which is more specific than the IgA anti-gliadin test, which often is not accurate. Some Drs still use TTG as well. Regardless, a biopsy is still usually considered the standard for testing, along with blood work and clinical symptoms (if any). Genetic testing can be done as well, which doesn't prove Celiac on its own, but if negative can virtually rule it out. Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is a whole different condition it seems, so most of those cases would likely test negative to all current Celiac testing, including blood work. Bottom line, if you think you truly have Celiac, it's crucial to have an official diagnosis on your chart. You don't want to be fed gluten in the hospital while recovering from surgery for example. Unfortunately, only blood work combined with a biopsy can offer that at this time. Don't waste your money elsewhere.

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    Forget the blood test, save your money for Enterolab. I see 5-10 people everyday at my gluten free bakery that had a positive biopsy but negative blood test. The blood test is a crime sending patients out the door with a 80% false reading to then later develop an irreversible life threatening disease(s). Many scientifc papers and real life people prove the blood test is "old school".

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    Guest KC Nelson

    Posted

    Although I can't verify the veracity of Enterolab, I do know that my blood work has been frustratingly negative. I've known I had Celiac for 10 years, I've been tested twice: both negative. I do an elimination diet and within days I am a different person. With a diagnosis I would have much more credibility, but I have determined to live my life gluten-free like I know I should. It is unfortunate we don't have a basic standard we can all agree on.

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    Guest Halli Magg

    Posted

    Is this really an autoimmune disease? The immune system attacks the gluten which is not auto (one self) and the damage to the villi is collateral damage.

    I'm just asking as I have never seen gluten intolerance being described as an autoimmune disease, although I understand it can be a starting point for one.

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    Guest superluminal11

    Posted

    I am impressed that many of you can see the marketing (how can I make more money) off this scientific data. The Pharma Giants do this to the doctors as well in 1 hour meetings by sales people with lovely personalities. The result...no one ever really gets WELL. But hey...more money is floating around out there in the market right? Money is what makes the world go around right? Mmmmmmm mmm...LOVE THAT MONEY

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    Is this really an autoimmune disease? The immune system attacks the gluten which is not auto (one self) and the damage to the villi is collateral damage.

    I'm just asking as I have never seen gluten intolerance being described as an autoimmune disease, although I understand it can be a starting point for one.

    It is an autoimmune disorder, yes. The immune system does not attack the gluten, it directly attacks the lining of the small intestine. Gluten intolerance is different than celiac disease, and is not an autoimmune disorder.

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    Although I am typically skeptical of less-accepted resources, I'd say that this article is spot-on. I tested negative for celiac disease for 8 years. I was severely ill, had multiple vitamin deficiencies, yet always tested negative. Finally, after another bout of severe illness, I tested positive. Funnily enough, my gastroenterologist knew that the test results weren't accurate, and knew to keep retesting me for it.

     

    My biopsy, however, was negative. But it was then I learned that due to the endoscopy's limited ability to reach even most of the intestine, the results of biopsy are actually a) positive or B) inconclusive; as opposed to positive or negative. My gastroenterologist made the diagnosis based on a positive blood test, vitamin b12 deficiency and a positive reaction to the gluten free diet.

     

    Yet what happened during those 8 years? There are many theories as to why blood tests are inaccurate, and I'd say the theory presented in this article is the best theory: the antibodies measured in testing only measure antibodies in the blood stream, not the digestive tract.

     

    If you are looking for a more acceptable resource, then look no further than the British Medical Journal and a study written back in the 70s about antibodies in the gut, and the lack of reliability of testing, and which suggests that there is more reliability from testing conducted on feces and saliva. Because URLs are no allowed in comments, evidently, please Google "The demonstration and function of antibodies in the intestinal tract."

     

    I'd personally say save your money and get genetic testing, vitamin/mineral testing, and try the gluten free diet. I'd even bet that many people with supposed "gluten intolerance" actually have celiac disease, but had negative test results.

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    Guest Sandi S.

    Posted

    As far as I know, NO medical community agrees with stool testing as having any indication to suggest celiac disease. Furthermore, many people can have positive anti-gliadin antibodies and NOT have Celiac. Anti-gliadin is false positive in many subgroups of people, hence why it is not usually used anymore to diagnose celiac. Stool antibodies are even less specific as far as I know. Enterolab has not ever released its work for peer review, so there is little data to say stool testing means anything other then your immune system has simply had exposure to the food protein in question and remembers it. It may or may not mean anything. I do think the article raises some good questions, though.

    I just went to my doctor yesterday, and he recommended the same lab and tests that are suggested in this article. So, clearly the medical community does support this type of testing for this issue. He used this lab/tests for his own family and recommends it to patients. I am going to do more research before I do this testing on my daughter. I thought this article was very enlightening.

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    Guest Smart Donkey

    Posted

    Ms. Trubin displays a dismally poor grasp of human anatomy and autoimmune response. Based on her logic, there could be no grounds for the correlation between celiac disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. And yet there is such a correlation, just as there is a correlation between celiac disease and lymphoma. Why? Because - contrary to Ms. Turbin's assertion that celiac all happens in the gut - Celiac is a systemic disease that involves complex processes all over the body. Those processes entail the communication of antibodies throughout the body via the blood stream. While it is true old methods of blood testing were not as reliable, there are labs that have developed highly accurate blood and saliva tests both for celiac antibody and genetic testing. Among these are Prometheus Lab based in San Diego, and Kimball Genetics in Denver. Both use the most advanced testing available for celiac disease available today. And both now offer cheek swab testing which can be done at home.

    This company was purchased by Nestle last year. Sure, feed us all Gerber, Nesquik, and Hot Pockets. No problem, I'll send you my DNA so you can test me for GI diseases and other disorders for eating too much bad food. Conflict of interest? Noooo, not at all. I would rather pay for an endoscopy and find out for sure instead of paying for probability analysis.

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    Guest Morna Erwin

    Posted

    I suffered from dermatitis herpetiformis for over a year before being diagnosed as celiac. The rash on my buttocks was bilateral and the itching would wake me up in the middle of the night. My doctor kept treating me for herpes, although it never improved even a little bit.

     

    Once I found out what it was, I sent away for testing from Enterolab, and tested positive on IgA antibodies and Anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies. I immediately went on a gluten-free diet and the rash went away completely, although it will itch if I get accidental cross-contamination.

     

    My gastroenterologist ran the blood test on me and did endoscopic biopsy, but both were negative. Of course, I was already 3 weeks into my gluten-free diet.

     

    My primary care physician accepts Enterolab results. Other food sensitivities Enterolab found (milk, corn, oats, pork) have also helped me design a diet that has improved my health.

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    Guest Kareng

    Posted

    Don't get your "medical info" from someone with a product to sell. Ask real doctors who study and treat the disease.

     

    "Why don't you recognize tests (stool tests or otherwise) for non-celiac gluten sensitivity that are currently available through companies like Enterolab or Cyrex?

     

    We only embrace tests that have endured rigorous scientific evaluations. So far, these tests have received no evidence-based support.

     

    Enterolab has never successfully published anything on the accuracy of stool tests (nor have any other stool test manufacturers, to our knowledge) making it difficult to confirm the research results. Because of this, we must make our decisions based on what has been published; Harvard, UCSD, and the American College of Gastroenterology all agree that stool tests are simply not sensitive or specific enough methods in screening for celiac disease.

     

    We can say therefore with confidence that the test currently being used by these labs is not good enough. In fact, while it is true that about 40% of people with proven gluten sensitivity have elevated AGA-IgG, it is also true that about 15-25% of the healthy individuals who have absolutely nothing wrong also have elevated AGA-IgG. Hence, about 60% of gluten sensitive people do not have elevated AGA-IgG (making the test not sensitive enough); and about 20% of normal, non-gluten sensitive people have elevated AGA-IgG for no apparent reason (making the test not specific enough)."

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    Guest Stella

    Posted

    There is no scientific research validating antibody stool tests. However, Ms Turbin is correct in that the traditional blood test for Celiac disease, which measures antibodies to only one protein from wheat, produces many false negatives. That is why many researchers have concluded that assessing immune responses to multiple wheat fractions, not just alpha-gliadin-33, is the best method for assessing gluten reactivity (see the various publications of Camarca, Vader and Vojdani). Just because a healthcare practitioner orders the stool test, it doesn't mean it has been accepted by the medical industry. Many practitioners turned to the stool test because of convenience, or frustration with the many false negatives of the blood test. The best thing is to simply avoid gluten altogether. If you feel better, then you know. Why waste time and money with doctors and tests when the solution is within your own power? Your doctor can better serve you by fixing the gut damage you have acquired after consuming gluten (and dairy) for decades.

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    Guest kelley

    Posted

    Another consideration is the cost I just had celiac blood work done from the Cleveland Clinic at a cost of over $500 dollars, and it was negative so the doctor wants to do a colosomy.

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    Guest Jeff Kelly

    Posted

    I just went to my doctor yesterday, and he recommended the same lab and tests that are suggested in this article. So, clearly the medical community does support this type of testing for this issue. He used this lab/tests for his own family and recommends it to patients. I am going to do more research before I do this testing on my daughter. I thought this article was very enlightening.

    I do agree that Enterolab does good work, although if I have one criticism, it is only that it fails to understand that if a patient does not have malabsorption during testing, it doesn't mean no celiac exists and malabsorption did not exist at some prior point in time(or could exist at some future point in time under the "right conditions" for the celiac). Thus, the criticism I heard above does not strike me as accurate, balanced, or according to what we sufferers have had to go through out there. Enterolab is certainly better than no testing, including the gene testing for certain, which has been shown in the literature, and thus to characterize Enterolab as off in the vapor or ether somewhere is quite inaccurate. I do agree that as more and more labs do this kind of testing, we need to look at others too. For me it was 45 years of being ignored and wasting away. Photos of myself as a child demonstrate the emaciation. I was thrown into Psychiatry back then and have been many times since, and I can tell you any science is better than no science, any affirmation is better than none, and what we seem to be seeing is physicians catching up with what is going on in labs out there--as opposed to the labs catching up with the ignorance of physicians in the past. That's a positive development--and while some criticism might be leveled on certain aspects and details, overall what we are seeing out there is positive.

    Now also it has been discussed in professional seminars that the blood tests are not as accurate as they could be, so this assertion is quite according to established facts and discussion on this topic, and cannot be just dismissed. The biopsy portion is what G.I. docs hang their hat on--yet most do not order any. I certainly suffered for 45 years without having one being ordered, and once one was, I was strictly gluten free and of course it turned up nothing under those conditions. G.I. docs have a long way still to go with this--which is of course contrary to their medical training, which, as the film "Patch Adams" documented, is akin to teaching religion and doctrines. Sometimes religion and doctrines on certain topics have to be unlearned before actual learning can occur. And that is most certainly the case in celiac sprue. I wish everyone would return to the original medical name of celiac sprue, because it just seems to me the name itself has been bastardized to the point of being an easy target for a joke.

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    Guest Jeff Kelly

    Posted

    I also wanted to add that EMA blood testing is almost 100% specific for Celiac (although not quite that sensitive), so it is very accurate in that regard. Mayo Clinic now also uses a form of an IgG anti-gliadin test and/or another test they designed (I forget the name) which is more specific than the IgA anti-gliadin test, which often is not accurate. Some Drs still use TTG as well. Regardless, a biopsy is still usually considered the standard for testing, along with blood work and clinical symptoms (if any). Genetic testing can be done as well, which doesn't prove Celiac on its own, but if negative can virtually rule it out. Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is a whole different condition it seems, so most of those cases would likely test negative to all current Celiac testing, including blood work. Bottom line, if you think you truly have Celiac, it's crucial to have an official diagnosis on your chart. You don't want to be fed gluten in the hospital while recovering from surgery for example. Unfortunately, only blood work combined with a biopsy can offer that at this time. Don't waste your money elsewhere.

    I would agree folks SHOULD go for the intestinal biopsy, but many doctors pooh-pooh it. It sometimes isn't enough to be EMACIATED either--the docs simply have unreformable BIASES against evaluating for celiac sprue (they were taught in their INDOCTRINATION in med. school that they would never see a case in their lifetimes and if they ever did it would be a serious FLUKE). Fasano's data states 1% of AMERICA. That's hugely more common than med. school training teaches, and it is a waste of time arguing with someone who believes in a RELIGION moreso than actual reality such as what we celiacs have had to go through in our WASTED LIVES, in many cases. PERIOD!!

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    Guest Jeff Kelly

    Posted

    I also wanted to add that EMA blood testing is almost 100% specific for Celiac (although not quite that sensitive), so it is very accurate in that regard. Mayo Clinic now also uses a form of an IgG anti-gliadin test and/or another test they designed (I forget the name) which is more specific than the IgA anti-gliadin test, which often is not accurate. Some Drs still use TTG as well. Regardless, a biopsy is still usually considered the standard for testing, along with blood work and clinical symptoms (if any). Genetic testing can be done as well, which doesn't prove Celiac on its own, but if negative can virtually rule it out. Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is a whole different condition it seems, so most of those cases would likely test negative to all current Celiac testing, including blood work. Bottom line, if you think you truly have Celiac, it's crucial to have an official diagnosis on your chart. You don't want to be fed gluten in the hospital while recovering from surgery for example. Unfortunately, only blood work combined with a biopsy can offer that at this time. Don't waste your money elsewhere.

    You make EXCELLENT POINTS HERE, but in my experience physicians remain UNHELPFUL with any of this due to certain BIASES AGAINST celiac sprue, particularly in MEN. John F. Kennedy was a man, wasn't he? The steroids literally kept him functional as a celiac (then as the old saw goes life sucks and then you die). Well anyway doctors don't or won't consider celiac sprue in men unless and until you are at death's door and then they might do something useful, like snip off your penis or something. That's about the level of expertise they have in my experience--and continue to have. They still don't know a damn thing about it, and do not wish to know and do not wish to know mostly that what they've been taught about it is in many cases WRONG--such as prevalence, and such as the sequelae from it being as WRONG as their ignoring this issue FOREVER. PERIOD. PARAGRAPH!!

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    Guest Jeff Kelly

    Posted

    Although I am typically skeptical of less-accepted resources, I'd say that this article is spot-on. I tested negative for celiac disease for 8 years. I was severely ill, had multiple vitamin deficiencies, yet always tested negative. Finally, after another bout of severe illness, I tested positive. Funnily enough, my gastroenterologist knew that the test results weren't accurate, and knew to keep retesting me for it.

     

    My biopsy, however, was negative. But it was then I learned that due to the endoscopy's limited ability to reach even most of the intestine, the results of biopsy are actually a) positive or B) inconclusive; as opposed to positive or negative. My gastroenterologist made the diagnosis based on a positive blood test, vitamin b12 deficiency and a positive reaction to the gluten free diet.

     

    Yet what happened during those 8 years? There are many theories as to why blood tests are inaccurate, and I'd say the theory presented in this article is the best theory: the antibodies measured in testing only measure antibodies in the blood stream, not the digestive tract.

     

    If you are looking for a more acceptable resource, then look no further than the British Medical Journal and a study written back in the 70s about antibodies in the gut, and the lack of reliability of testing, and which suggests that there is more reliability from testing conducted on feces and saliva. Because URLs are no allowed in comments, evidently, please Google "The demonstration and function of antibodies in the intestinal tract."

     

    I'd personally say save your money and get genetic testing, vitamin/mineral testing, and try the gluten free diet. I'd even bet that many people with supposed "gluten intolerance" actually have celiac disease, but had negative test results.

    Beautiful comment, and spot on. Love that reference to the medical literature too. Everything about your post was excellent. Rock on, baby!!!

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    Guest Jeff Kelly

    Posted

    There is no scientific research validating antibody stool tests. However, Ms Turbin is correct in that the traditional blood test for Celiac disease, which measures antibodies to only one protein from wheat, produces many false negatives. That is why many researchers have concluded that assessing immune responses to multiple wheat fractions, not just alpha-gliadin-33, is the best method for assessing gluten reactivity (see the various publications of Camarca, Vader and Vojdani). Just because a healthcare practitioner orders the stool test, it doesn't mean it has been accepted by the medical industry. Many practitioners turned to the stool test because of convenience, or frustration with the many false negatives of the blood test. The best thing is to simply avoid gluten altogether. If you feel better, then you know. Why waste time and money with doctors and tests when the solution is within your own power? Your doctor can better serve you by fixing the gut damage you have acquired after consuming gluten (and dairy) for decades.

    You ask a good question but another poster had a good answer: because official medical affirmation is useful, such as if you are in the hospital with some surgery or something and your diet needs to be strictly gluten free(hospitals do a notoriously bad job at knowing what this is or how to serve it anyway, but at least you have a step up on this). It can also serve as notice to Psychiatrists, which is a human rights abusive industry(ie, the mental illness industry), that you have an affirmed medical condition and not a b$#@@#$$ invented condition to make Psychiatry, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals rich or should I say "keep them rich." Ok, and the other reason is for family, friends, and perhaps even the community at large, who may regard you positively if some or all of those know you have an actual medical condition instead of a phony, Psychiatric industry sounding nonsense condition. That about wraps up my answer!!

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    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 10/29/2002 - Dr Robert Anderson, Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford (now based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia), and colleagues recently announced their intent to begin work on a vaccine that could cure celiac disease. The Australian teams work will be based on Dr. Andersons earlier groundbreaking Oxford research that identified the specific set of protein sequences in gluten that cause damage to the guts of those with celiac disease (see: Nature Medicine 6, 337 - 342 - 01 Mar 2000). In addition to finding a possible cure for celiac disease the teams research could open the door for a specific diagnostic test for the disease, new treatment and prevention strategies, and even the possibility of producing grains that do not contain the harmful sequences. Dr. Andersons future research will focused on proving that a specific "toxic peptide" can be used to desensitize or induce tolerance in people with celiac disease, and any vaccine would likely be the "toxic peptide" itself or a modified form of it.
    The Australian team also announced their agreement for the commercialization of new celiac disease technology developed by the University of Oxford. BTG and Isis will develop diagnostic tests and treatments for gluten intolerance. BTG is a London-based technology transfer company which has bought the rights to the teams discovery, and Isis Innovation Ltd, is Oxford Universitys wholly-owned technology transfer company that was established in 1988 and is a world leader in university technology transfer. Under the terms of the Isis agreement, BTG will have exclusive access to the Universitys technology for use in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of celiac disease. The technology is based on identification of the particular epitopes that cause priming of the immune system in celiac disease. BTG will underwrite all costs associated with the development and commercialization of the technology, and will share any revenue from commercialization of the technology with Isis and the University.


    Destiny Stone
    Celiac.com 03/26/2010 - Mass screening studies among the general population for celiac disease show a prevalence of approximately 0.5-1.0% in adults and in children. Yet, despite the growing numbers of newly diagnosed celiac disease patients, most cases still remain undiagnosed and therefore, untreated. In part, the masses of misdiagnosed or undiagnosed  celiac disease  patients are a result of the variety of disguises  celiac disease can have. Celiac disease can manifest into a multitude of symptoms including, but by no means exclusive to, malabsorption syndrome, diarrhea, anemia, infertility and osteoporosis.
    It has been demonstrated that there is a clear advantage to early testing for celiac disease. Early testing can aide in  avoiding the irreversible damages that come from diagnosis later in life, such as stunted growth and organ damage. It is also faster for children to heal from intestinal lesions caused from undiagnosed celiac disease, when diagnosed early on. New evidence shows that 10 years after being diagnosed with celiac disease, 66% of the children diagnosed exhibited improvement in their health and overall quality of life; indicating that mass screening at an early age is critical.
    This study was based on a previous study performed by  mass screening for celiac disease by a group of scientists in the Netherlands between 1997 and 1998, who studied 6,127 asymptomatic children between the ages of two and four. Using endomysial antibodies (IgA EmA) testing, the children were screened for celiac disease. 57 seropositive children were then given biopsies. The scientists compared different testing methods for celiac disease, evaluated their serological persistence over time, and determined optimum cut-off points for the testing. Using serological samples obtained at biopsy, EmA and tTGA was assessed for each subject studied. Human leukocyte antigen  (HLA)-typing was obtained from 55 children; 26 of those had normal biopsies and were genetically predisposed for celiac disease and 29 of the children had small-bowel alterations known to be  distinctive traits for celiac disease. Of the 26 children with normal biopsies, 4% of them tested positively for HLA-DQ8, and the other 96% tested positive for HLS-DQ2. Of the 29 children diagnosed with celiac disease, all of them tested positive for HLA-DQ2. However, a proportionately  large number of children who tested EmA-positive and were diagnosed with celiac disease, had normal biopsies and were thus regarded as  false positives.
    The results of this test confirmed that celiac disease antibody levels may fluctuate in children who are genetically predisposed for  celiac disease. While the reason for the transient antibodies is still not known, it has been suggested that children who are seropositive but have normal small-intestine biopsies, potentially have celiac disease, and are susceptible to developing gluten sensitive enteropathy as they get older. Future testing is needed to establish results for this hypothesis.
    However, children with histological alterations in their small-intestine biopsy indicative of celiac disease, had considerably higher antibodies for EmA than those without celiac disease.  The tTGA levels were significantly higher and occurred with more frequency in children with celiac disease than in children without celiac disease. EmA persisted in all celiac disease children, but only in 50% of the non-celiac disease children. tTGA was evident in 83% of celiac disease children, and 15% in non-celiac disease children. Additionally, increasing the cut-off points  provided a reduction of false positives, but resulted in lowering test sensitivity. While optimization of standard cut-off points reduced unnecessary biopsies by 50%-96%, it also reduced test sensitivity.
     In conclusion, celiac disease antibodies are proven to be transient in children genetically predisposed to celiac. It is therefore crucial for medical providers to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies. As this study has demonstrated,  to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies by 85%, serological mass screening methods may be improved by repeating EmA and/or tTGA in children who test seropositive after 6 months, and before continuing to biopsy.
    Source:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047580

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/18/2015 - Getting high-quality biopsy specimens is key to making accurate celiac disease diagnoses. Endoscopists may take either a single- or double-biopsy specimen with each pass of the forceps.
    Does it matter whether they take one or two? Is two better than one?
    A team of researchers recently set out to answer those questions, by comparing the quality of biopsy specimens obtained with the single-biopsy and double-biopsy techniques.
    The research team includes M. Latorre, S.M. Lagana, D.E. Freedberg, S.K. Lewis, B. Lebwohl, G. Bhagat, and P. H. Green of the Celiac Disease Center, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
    Their prospective cohort study looked at patients undergoing upper endoscopy with confirmed, suspected, or unknown celiac disease status. A total of 86 patients enrolled in the study, 47% with known celiac disease, 36% with suspected celiac disease, and 17% with an unknown celiac disease status.
    In each case, patients received four biopsy specimens from the second portion of the duodenum. Two were made using the single-biopsy technique of 1 bite per pass of the forceps, and two more using the double-biopsy technique, which takes 2 bites per pass of the forceps.
    Specimens were blindly reviewed to determine orientation, consecutive crypt-to-villous units, and Marsh score. Well-oriented biopsy specimens were noted in 66% of patients with the single-biopsy technique and 42% of patients with the double-biopsy technique (P < .01).
    Analysis of matched pairs showed improved orientation with the single-biopsy technique (odds ratio 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-7.1; P < .01). This persisted in subgroup analysis of patients with known celiac disease (P = .02), villous atrophy (P = .02), and a final diagnosis of celiac disease (P < .01).
    Now, this is just a single-center trial, so results need to be compared with results from additional cities.
    Interestingly, these results suggest that one bite is actually better than two, because the single-biopsy technique improves the yield of well-oriented duodenal biopsy specimens.
    For best results, the endoscopists should consider taking only one biopsy specimen per pass of the forceps in patients undergoing biopsies of the duodenal mucosa.
    Source:
    Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Jan 29. pii: S0016-5107(14)02380-3. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2014.10.024.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/22/2018 - Proteins are the building blocks of life. If scientists can figure out how to create and grow new proteins, they can create new treatments and cures to a multitude of medical, biological and even environmental conditions.
    For a couple of decades now, scientists have been searching for a biological Rosetta stone that would allow them to engineer proteins with precision, but the problem has remained dauntingly complex.  Researchers had a pretty good understanding of the very simple way that the linear chemical code carried by strands of DNA translates into strings of amino acids in proteins. 
    But, one of the main problems in protein engineering has to do with the way proteins fold into their various three-dimensional structures. Until recently, no one has been able to decipher the rules that will predict how proteins fold into those three-dimensional structures.  So even if researchers were somehow able to design a protein with the right shape for a given job, they wouldn’t know how to go about making it from protein’s building blocks, the amino acids.
    But now, scientists like William DeGrado, a chemist at the University of California, San Francisco, and David Baker, director for the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, say that designing proteins will become at least as important as manipulating DNA has been in the past couple of decades.
    After making slow, but incremental progress over the years, scientists have improved their ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes. Among other things, they’ve gained a better understanding of how then the laws of physics cause the proteins to snap into folded origami-like structures based on the ways amino acids are attracted or repelled by others many places down the chain.
    It is this new ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes that has fueled their progress. UCSF’s DeGrado is using these new breakthroughs to search for new medicines that will be more stable, both on the shelf and in the body. He is also looking for new ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and similar neurological conditions, which result when brain proteins fold incorrectly and create toxic deposits.
    Meanwhile, Baker’s is working on a single vaccine that would protect against all strains of the influenza virus, along with a method for breaking down the gluten proteins in wheat, which could help to generate new treatments for people with celiac disease. 
    With new computing power, look for progress on the understanding, design, and construction of brain proteins. As understanding, design and construction improve, look for brain proteins to play a major role in disease research and treatment. This is all great news for people looking to improve our understanding and treatment of celiac disease.
    Source:
    Bloomberg.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/21/2018 - Just a year ago, Starbucks debuted their Canadian bacon, egg and cheddar cheese gluten-free sandwich. During that year, the company basked in praise from customers with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity for their commitment to delivering a safe gluten-free alternative to it’s standard breakfast offerings.
    But that commitment came to an ignoble end recently as Starbucks admitted that their gluten-free sandwich was plagued by  “low sales,” and was simply not sustainable from a company perspective. The sandwich may not have sold well, but it was much-loved by those who came to rely on it.
    With the end of that sandwich came the complaints. Customers on social media were anything but quiet, as seen in numerous posts, tweets and comments pointing out the callous and tone-deaf nature of the announcement which took place in the middle of national Celiac Disease Awareness Month. More than a few posts threatened to dump Starbucks altogether.
    A few of the choice tweets include the following:  
    “If I’m going to get coffee and can’t eat anything might as well be DD. #celiac so your eggbites won’t work for me,” tweeted @NotPerryMason. “They’re discontinuing my @Starbucks gluten-free sandwich which is super sad, but will save me money because I won’t have a reason to go to Starbucks and drop $50 a week,” tweeted @nwillard229. Starbucks is not giving up on gluten-free entirely, though. The company will still offer several items for customers who prefer gluten-free foods, including Sous Vide Egg Bites, a Marshmallow Dream Bar and Siggi’s yogurt.
    Stay tuned to learn more about Starbucks gluten-free foods going forward.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/19/2018 - Looking for a nutritious, delicious meal that is both satisfying and gluten-free? This tasty quinoa salad is just the thing for you. Easy to make and easy to transport to work. This salad of quinoa and vegetables gets a rich depth from chicken broth, and a delicious tang from red wine vinegar. Just pop it in a container, seal and take it to work or school. Make the quinoa a day or two ahead as needed. Add or subtract veggies as you like.
    Ingredients:
    1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well ½ cup water ½ cup chicken broth 2 radishes, thinly sliced 1 small bunch fresh pea sprouts 1 small Persian cucumber, diced 1 small avocado, ripe, sliced into chunks Cherry or grape tomatoes Fresh sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar  Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper Directions:
    Simmer quinoa in water and chicken broth until tender.
    Dish into bowls.
    Top with veggies, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds. 
    Splash with red wine vinegar and enjoy!

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/18/2018 - Across the country, colleges and universities are rethinking the way they provide food services for students with food allergies and food intolerance. In some cases, that means major renovations. In other cases, it means creating completely new dining and food halls. To document both their commitment and execution of gluten-free and allergen-free dining, these new food halls are frequently turning to auditing and accreditation firms, such as Kitchens with Confidence.
    The latest major player to make the leap to allergen-free dining is Syracuse University. The university’s Food Services recently earned an official gluten-free certification from Kitchens with Confidence for four of the University’s dining centers, with the fifth soon to follow.
    To earn the gluten-free certification from Kitchens with Confidence, food services must pass a 41 point audit process that includes 200 control check points. The food service must also agree to get any new food item approved in advance, and to submit to monthly testing of prep surfaces, to furnish quarterly reports, and to provide information on any staffing changes, recalls or incident reports. Kitchens with Confidence representatives also conduct annual inspections of each dining center.
    Syracuse students and guests eating at Ernie Davis, Shaw, Graham and Sadler dining centers can now choose safe, reliable gluten-free food from a certified gluten-free food center. The fifth dining center, Brockway, is currently undergoing renovations scheduled for completion by fall, when Brockway will also receive its certification.
    Syracuse Food Services has offered a gluten-free foods in its dining centers for years. According to Jamie Cyr, director of Auxiliary Services, the university believes that the independent Gluten-Free Certification from Kitchens with Confidence will help ease the anxiety for parents and students.”
    Syracuse is understandably proud of their accomplishment. According to Mark Tewksbury, director of residence dining operations, “campus dining centers serve 11,000 meals per day and our food is made fresh daily. Making sure that it is nutritious, delicious and safe for all students is a top priority.”
    Look for more colleges and universities to follow in the footsteps of Syracuse and others that have made safe, reliable food available for their students with food allergies or sensitivities.
    Read more.

    Zyana Morris
    Celiac.com 05/17/2018 - Celiac disease is not one of the most deadly diseases out there, but it can put you through a lot of misery. Also known as coeliac, celiac disease is an inherited immune disorder. What happens is that your body’s immune system overreacts to gluten and damages the small intestine. People who suffer from the disease cannot digest gluten, a protein found in grain such as rye, barley, and wheat. 
    While it may not sound like a severe complication at first, coeliac can be unpleasant to deal with. What’s worse is it would lower your body’s capacity to absorb minerals and vitamins. Naturally, the condition would cause nutritional deficiencies. The key problem that diagnosing celiac is difficult and takes take longer than usual. Surprisingly, the condition has over 200 identified symptoms.
    More than three million people suffer from the coeliac disease in the United States alone. Even though diagnosis is complicated, there are symptoms that can help you identify the condition during the early stages to minimize the damage. 
    Here is how you can recognize the main symptoms of celiac disease:
    Diarrhea
    In various studies conducted over years, the most prominent symptom of celiac disease is chronic diarrhea.
    People suffering from the condition would experience loose watery stools that can last for up to four weeks after they stop taking gluten. Diarrhea can also be a symptom of food poisoning and other conditions, which is why it makes it difficult to diagnose coeliac. In certain cases, celiac disease can take up to four years to establish a sound diagnosis.
    Vomiting
    Another prominent symptom is vomiting.  
    When accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting can be a painful experience that would leave you exhausted. It also results in malnutrition and the patient experiences weight loss (not in a good way though). If you experience uncontrolled vomiting, report the matter to a physician to manage the condition.
    Bloating
    Since coeliac disease damages the small intestine, bloating is another common system. This is due to inflammation of the digestive tract. In a study with more than a 1,000 participants, almost 73% of the people reported bloating after ingesting gluten. 
    Bloating can be managed by eliminating gluten from the diet which is why a gluten-free diet is necessary for people suffering from celiac disease.
    Fatigue
    Constant feeling of tiredness and low energy levels is another common symptom associated with celiac disease. If you experience a lack of energy after in taking gluten, then you need to consult a physician to diagnose the condition. Now fatigue can also result from inefficient thyroid function, infections, and depression (a symptom of the coeliac disease). However, almost 51% of celiac patients suffer from fatigue in a study.
    Itchy Rash
    Now the chances of getting a rash after eating gluten are slim, but the symptom has been associated with celiac disease in the past. The condition can cause dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes a blistering skin rash that occurs around the buttocks, knees, and elbows. 
    A study found out that almost 17% of patients suffering from celiac disease might develop dermatitis herpetiformis due to lack of right treatment. Make sure you schedule an online appointment with your dermatologist or visit the nearest healthcare facility to prevent worsening of symptoms.
    Even with such common symptoms, diagnosing the condition is imperative for a quick recovery and to mitigate the long-term risks associated with celiac disease. 
    Sources:
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  Celiac.com ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  mendfamily.com