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    LetsGetChecked Home Celiac Disease Test Kit


    Celiac.com Sponsor: Review
    • Whether you want to save money, wish to have more privacy with your testing and results, or would like to get screened quickly—using LetsGetChecked kit to screen for celiac disease makes a lot of sense.

    LetsGetChecked Home Celiac Disease Test Kit

    Celiac.com 08/31/2018 - Until recently the only way to get a proper screening for celiac disease would be to convince your doctor or health care provider to order the tests, and then pay a visit to the lab where they would draw a test tube or two full of blood. Depending on your situation, it can sometimes be difficult to convince your doctor or health care provider to actually order the tests. They can also be expensive, even if you are lucky enough to have decent health insurance coverage.

    Did you know that you can now use a LetsGetChecked home screening kit to carry out a full celiac disease screening in the privacy of your own home?  I recently took the opportunity to use their kit to re-screen my son for celiac disease, as it's been a while since his last screening, and he should be getting screened annually.

    The test kit arrived quickly, and upon opening it I found all the items necessary to collect a specimen, plus a very clear set of eight step-by-step instructions, complete with graphics, to make it super easy to follow. The kit requires “activation,” which was done in just a few minutes on their Web site. The activation process allows the lab to connect you with your specimen, so that you can get your results via their Web site. 

    After activating my kit we moved on to the specimen collection, which went far easier than I expected. The kit comes with a few lancets, and we used only one of them to painlessly prick my son's finger. We gathered around 8 or 9 drops of his blood to fill the collection tube. After snapping the lid on it, we put it in the addressed, stamped envelope and dropped it off at our local UPS Store.

    A few days later I was surprised to get a call from a their medical team who took the time to go over my son's results with me over the phone—which, happily for my son—were negative! I also received an email with the results, and I was able to view them on their Web site as well.

    Whether you want to save money, wish to have more privacy with your testing and results, or would like to get screened quickly—using LetsGetChecked kit to screen for celiac disease makes a lot of sense. I've already recommended it to several friends and family members, and believe that this is one of the best home test kits available, and will be a big part of the future of celiac disease screening. 


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    Scott Adams
    Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results
    The following detailed explanation of serological tests for celiac disease was written by Tom Ryan, Technical Service Specialist, INOVA Diagnostics, Inc.
    There has been a lot of discussion about serological testing for celiac disease recently, specifically regarding tTG (tissue Transglutaminase) testing. I will try to answer some of the many questions that have appeared on this list about all of the tests. First, and this applies to any of the blood tests, you must currently be on a gluten containing diet for the tests to be accurate. Antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to substances that the body perceives as threatening. The immune response that your body produces is its response to being exposed to gluten in the diet and its subsequent effect on the intestinal mucosa. If there is no gluten in the diet, then there is no response that we can measure. A brief change in diet will not have a noticeable effect. If you have been gluten free for a week or so, it will not make any great difference. The response might be marginally less but the difference is insignificant because the body has not had time to respond to the change. Conversely, if you have been gluten free for a protracted period of time and decide to be tested, a brief challenge of a couple of weeks is not enough to elicit a response and get an accurate test.
    There are several steps that take place to generate an immune response and it takes time both for the positive reaction when gluten is present and to clear the antibodies when gluten is eliminated. There has been a great deal of discussion about how much and how long a challenge should be and there is no consensus. Talk with your Doctor. My personal feeling is that the minimum is 2 slices of bread per day for 6 weeks to get an accurate test but I would not try to second-guess the Doctor. There are basically four tests that can be performed to aid in diagnosing celiac disease. Notice that I say they will aid in diagnosing celiac disease. Immunology is fairly accurate but it is far from being an exact science. All of the lab tests, regardless of the type or source, are presented as aids to diagnosis. They should not be used alone as a basis for diagnosis but rather are intended to be considered in conjunction with the physical examination of the patient as well as the reported symptoms, etc. by a trained physician. There has been a great deal of confusion about what the tests are and I hope to alleviate some of the misunderstandings. There are many terms that we hear. tTG, IgA, IgG, ELISA, etc. What are all of these? Some contributors to the list make reference to the IgA or IgG test or to the ELISA test. These labels are incomplete for our purposes and could be referring to any number of different tests.
    We all have, within our bodies, a family of closely related although not identical proteins which are capable of acting as antibodies. These are collectively referred to as immunoglobulins. Five major types of immunoglobulins are normally present in the human adult. They are IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE and IgD. Each of these is a shorthand way of writing immunoglobulin gamma G (or A or M, etc.) and they each perform a different function in our systems. IgG is the principal immunoglobulin in human serum. It is important in providing immunity in a developing fetus because it will pass across the placental barrier. IgA is the principal immunoglobulin in secretions from respiratory and intestinal mucosa. IgE is a gamma globulin produced by cells lining the intestinal and respiratory tracts. It produces the antibodies associated with most hypersensitivity (allergic) responses. It is associated with asthma, hay fever, etc. IgM is a globulin formed in almost every immune response in the early part of the reaction. IgD is a rare protein present in normal sera in a tiny amount. These designations refer to the type of protein that is carrying the antibody in question. Both IgG and IgA subtypes of anti-gliadin antibody are produced, hence we refer to them as IgG gliadin or IgA gliadin. Collectively they are anti-gliadin antibodies.
    Anti-Gliadin Antibodies:
    Both IgA and IgG anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) are detected in sera of patients with gluten sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease). IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are more sensitive but are less specific markers for disease compared with IgA class antibodies. IgA anti-gliadin antibodies are less sensitive but are more specific. In clinical trials, the IgA antibodies have a specificity of 97% but the sensitivity is only 71%. That means that, if a patient is IgA positive, there is a 97% probability that they have celiac disease. Conversely, if the patient is IgA negative, there is only a 71% probability that the patient is truly negative for celiac disease. Therefore, a positive result is a strong indication that the patient has the disease but a negative result does not necessarily mean that they don not have it. False positive results are rather uncommon but false negative results can occur. On the other hand, the IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are 91% specific and have an 87% sensitivity. This means that they will show positive results more readily but there is not as strong a correlation with celiac disease. It is less specific. Patients with other conditions but not afflicted with celiac disease will occasionally show positive results. IgG anti-gliadin antibodies are detectable in approximately 21% of patients with other gastrointestinal disorders. This test might yield false positive results but is less likely to yield false negative results.
    A sensitive testing protocol includes testing for both IgA and IgG anti-gliadin antibodies since a significant portion of celiac patients (approx. 2-5%) are IgA deficient. This combined IgA and IgG anti-gliadin antibody assay has an overall sensitivity of 95% with a specificity of 90%. The type of test used to detect the anti-gliadin antibodies is called an ELISA. This is an acronym and it stands for Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay. ELISA is not a test in itself. It is a method of testing and it is a relatively simple test to perform. It involves putting a measured amount of diluted patient serum into the wells of a specially constructed and prepared plate and incubating it for a period of time with various chemicals. The end result is a color change, the intensity of which is dependent upon the concentration of anti-gliadin antibody (or other protein being measured) in the patient serum. The ability of this colored solution to absorb light at a particular wavelength can be measured on a laboratory instrument and mathematically compared with solutions that contain a known amount of anti-gliadin antibody to arrive at a number for the amount of antibody present. The sample can then be classified as negative, (0-20 units); weak positive, (21-30 units); or moderate to strong positive if greater than 30 units. The purpose of testing for anti-gliadin antibodies includes, in addition to diagnosis of gluten sensitive enteropathy, monitoring for compliance to a gluten free diet. IgA gliadin antibodies increase rapidly in response to gluten in the diet and decrease rapidly when gluten is absent from the diet. The IgA anti-gliadin antibodies can totally disappear in 2-6 months on a gluten free diet, so they are useful as a diet control. By contrast, IgG anti-gliadin antibodies need a long time, sometimes more than a year, to become negative. The reverse is also true. That is, a patient with celiac disease who has been on a gluten free diet and tests negative for IgA anti-gliadin antibodies, will show a rapid increase in antibody production when challenged by gluten in the diet. Approximately 90% of challenged patients will yield a positive IgA anti-gliadin result within 14-35 days after being challenged. The IgG antibodies are somewhat slower.
    Endomysial Antibodies:
    IgA class anti-endomysial antibodies (AEA) are very specific, occurring only in celiac disease and DH. These antibodies are found in approximately 80% of patients with DH and in essentially 100% of patients with active celiac disease. IgA endomysial antibodies are more sensitive and specific than gliadin antibodies for diagnosis of celiac disease. Antibody titers (dilutions) are found to parallel morphological changes in the jejunum and can also be used to reflect compliance with gluten-free diets. Titers decrease or become negative in patients on gluten free diets and reappear upon gluten challenge.
    The test for anti-endomysial antibodies is more subjective and more complicated for the lab to perform than the anti-gliadin assays. It involves serially diluting some of the patients serum, that is, diluting it by ½ then ¼, 1/8, 1/16, etc. and putting these dilutions on a glass slide that has some sort of tissue affixed to it. The slide is then processed with various solutions and examined under a fluorescent microscope to determine if any of that serum binds to any of the proteins in the tissue. If so, then that patient is confirmed as having antibodies to that particular protein. This method of testing is called an IFA or sometimes IIFA. It stands for Indirect Immuno-Fluorescent Assay. The selection of which tissue slide to use is determined by what specific protein, hence which antibody, you are specifically looking for. Endomysial antibodies react with the endomysium, which is a sheath of reticular fibrils that surround each muscle fiber. Therefore, to detect endomysial antibodies, you would want to use a tissue substrate that contains a lot of muscle tissue. The substrate used most often for this assay is distal sections of the esophagus. These are very thinly sliced and fixed to the slide. They contain muscle fibers and not much else so there is a lot of endomysium available to react with the anti-endomysial antibodies.
    Reading this test involves viewing the reacted slides with a fluorescent microscope to make the determination. This requires a highly skilled and trained eye and, of necessity, is somewhat subjective. You are looking for a green fluorescence in the endomysium covering the muscle fibers. The test is reported as the titer or final dilution in which the fluorescence can still clearly be seen. As you can imagine, this is very subjective. There are no standardized values and it is up to the judgment of the particular technician what the endpoint titer is. Recently, (1998) the endomysial antigen targeted by the anti-endomysial antibodies was identified as the protein cross-linking enzyme known as tissue transglutaminase (tTG). This has enabled the production of an antigen specific ELISA assay incorporating tTG as a reliable and objective alternative to the traditional and subjective Immunofluorescence based assays. In clinical trials, the correlation with the endomysial IFA assay has been shown to be close to 100%. This is a test that has been very well received in the professional community. It is an ELISA, like the anti-gliadin antibody test and, as such, is not subject to interpretation like the IFA. That is the greatest advantage to this new test! With this or any ELISA, the response is measured on an instrument that calculates the amount of light of a particular wavelength that is absorbed by the solution and prints out a numerical result. There is no chance of human error skewing the results because there is no judgment call involved. The ELISA plate, regardless of what you are testing for, is processed with at least three control sera (sometimes as many as eight) in addition to the unknown sample being tested. There is a negative serum and at least two positive sera containing different levels of the antibody being tested. There are specific requirements for the absorption levels of these three controls. That is, each of them has a minimum or maximum (or both) number that must be seen by the instrument in order for it to be a valid test. If there is any variance from these expected numbers, it is an indication that something went wrong and the test results are discarded and the test repeated. There is therefore no way the technician could report inaccurate results, (assuming they diluted the sample correctly). Either the test was valid, and you can rely upon the accuracy of the result, or the test is invalid, and the entire result discarded. If any error was made during the processing of the ELISA plate, it would result in the control sera numbers being out of range and the entire test result would be thrown out.
    In summary, the tTG ELISA is measuring the same thing that the endomysial IFA is measuring but with a method that is more sensitive and specific and not subject to interpretation. IgA class Reticulin antibodies are found only in Celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. These antibodies are found in approximately 60% of celiac disease patients and 25% of DH patients. This test is falling into disuse because of the limited utility and the availability of better tests. It is an IFA performed on a tissue substrate with all the attendant problems that go along with it. The development of all of these serum assays has tremendously simplified the diagnosis of celiac disease and improved the accuracy as well. The original criteria for diagnosis according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, (ESPGAN), involved a year of arduous studies with:
    An initial positive gut biopsy; 6 months on a gluten free diet; A second, negative gut biopsy; A gluten challenge for 6 months and; A third, positive gut biopsy. The revised ESPGAN criteria call for positive results in two of the serological tests confirmed by a single positive biopsy. In practice, many gastroenterologists are utilizing the serologies in conjunction with a controlled diet and the clinical presentation to form a basis for diagnosis without the need for the invasive procedure. Through the auspices of the Celiac Disease Foundation and others, a professional symposium and workshop was organized earlier this year in Marina Del Rey, California with participants from Europe as well as the U.S. to establish standards for reporting test results. This should improve testing and diagnosis even more. At the conclusion of this conference a Celiac Disease Standardization Committee was formed to investigate and make recommendations on a standardized method of reporting results.

    Jefferson Adams
    Blood Tests Different in Patients with Gluten Sensitivity Than in Those with Celiac Disease
    Celiac.com 12/03/2012 - Gluten sensitivity has recently been added to the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, but precise diagnostic markers do not yet exist. A research team recently set out to understand the blood test pattern of gluten sensitivity, and to compare it with the blood test pattern seen in celiac disease.
    The researchers included U. Volta, F. Tovoli, R. Cicola, C. Parisi, A. Fabbri, M. Piscaglia, E. Fiorini, G. Caio, of the Department of Clinical Medicine at University of Bologna's St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, Italy.
    For their study, the researchers looked at blood samples from 78 patients with gluten-sensitivity and 80 patients with celiac disease. They assessed levels of immunoglobulin (Ig)G/IgA antigliadin antibodies (AGA), IgG deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies (DGP-AGA), IgA tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA), and IgA endomysial antibodies (EmA).
    They found positive readings for IgG AGA in 56.4% of patients with gluten-sensitivity, and in 81.2% of patients with celiac disease. Antibody levels for both groups were in the high range.
    They found IgA AGA in 7.7% of patients with gluten-sensitivity, and in 75% of patients with celiac disease, which shows lower enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay activities in gluten-sensitivity patients than in patients with celiac disease.
    Only 1 of the 78 patients with gluten-sensitivity tested positive for IgG DGP-AGA, which was found in nearly 90% of patients with celiac disease.
    All patients with gluten-sensitivity tested negative for IgA tTGA and IgA EmA, while 98.7% of patients with celiac disease tested positive for IgA tTGA, and 95% were positive for IgA EmA.
    Patients with gluten-sensitivity presented a variety of intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, foggy mind, tiredness, eczema/skin rash, headache, joint/muscle pain, numbness of legs/arms, depression, and anemia. Small intestinal mucosa for these patients was either normal or only mildly abnormal.
    The data from these blood tests show that more than half of patients with gluten sensitivity will test positive for IgG AGA, and a small number will test positive for IgA AGA, but none will show positive results for EmA, tTGA, and DGP-AGA, which are the specific markers of celiac disease.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Sep;46(8):680-5.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/24/2015 - Laboratory tests for hemoglobin, ferritin, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and thyroid function are regularly ordered in children with celiac disease, despite sufficient evidence for their necessity. To determine the frequency of nutritional deficiencies and levels of thyroid dysfunction in children with celiac disease, researches conducted a study that examined children before and after the initiation of a gluten-free diet.
    The research team included Margaretha Maria Susanna Wessels, MD, Iris I. van Veen, MD, Sabine Lisa Vriezinga, MD, Hein Putter, PhD, Edmond Henri Herman Maria Rings, MD, PhD, and Maria Luisa Mearin, MD, PhD. They are affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics, Department of Statistics, and the Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
    For their study, the team evaluated test results for hemoglobin, ferritin, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D (25[OH]D), free thyroxin, and thyroid stimulating hormone of children with celiac disease regularly seen at the Leiden University Medical Center between 2009 and 2014. The team used laboratory reference ranges to define abnormal results. For statistical analysis, they used Pearson χ2 test for trend, unpaired t test, and 1-way ANOVA. 
    Their results for 182 children evaluated, showed 119 were newly diagnosed. About 17% of results were missing for any given year, due to incomplete blood results.
    The most common deficiencies at the time of celiac diagnosis were iron deficiency, found in 28% of celiac patients, vitamin D deficiencies in 27%, and folate deficiency, in 14%. They also saw iron deficiency anemia in 9%, and vitamin B12 deficiency in 1% of celiac patients. They saw no hypocalcemia or thyroid dysfunction.
    At follow-up, they observed iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, and folate and vitamin D deficiency 8%, 2%, 3%, and 25% of patients, respectively. They found no vitamin B12 deficiency, hypocalcemia, and thyroid disease.
    From these results, the team concluded that complementary blood investigations are relevant at the time of celiac diagnosis, but have little follow-up use, once the patients adopt a gluten-free diet. They recommend that such tests be conducted only if there is a clear physical issue, such as fatigue or abnormal growth.
    Source:
    Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.09.078

    Jefferson Adams
    Blood Test Can Tell Celiac from Non-Celiac Patients By Cytokine Levels
    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.
    Source:
    Immusant

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