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    How Accurate are Celiac Disease Blood Antibody Tests?

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Just how reliable are blood antibody tests for screening celiac disease?


    Celiac disease blood tests are very accurate. Image: CC BY 2.0--tuckerives
    Caption: Celiac disease blood tests are very accurate. Image: CC BY 2.0--tuckerives

    Celiac.com 05/01/2020 - If you have celiac disease symptoms, for example chronic diarrhea, anemia, bloating, abdominal pain, anemia, etc, your doctor may order a blood test for celiac disease. Note that you must be eating gluten daily for at least 4-6 weeks to be accurately tested celiac disease, otherwise you may end up with false negative results.

    For a celiac disease antibody test, a clinician collects a small amount of the patient's blood. The sample is then sent to a lab, where the blood cells are then removed, and the test is conducted.

    Celiac Disease Blood Antibody Screening is ~98% Accurate When Done Using This Protocol 



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    A celiac disease blood panel includes several tests to determine whether someone has celiac disease. These tests are very specific because certain antibodies only appear in those with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis. 

    Testing begins with a test called Immunoglobulin A (IgA). If the results are normal, then a Tissue transglutaminase, antibody, IgA test is given. A weak positive should lead to the following tests:

    1. Endomysial antibodies (IgA) and;
    2. Gliadin (deamidated) antibody, IgA.

    If the initial Immunoglobulin A (IgA) test is low, then these two tests should be done:

    1. Tissue transglutaminase antibodies, IgA and IgG profle.
    2. Gliadin (deamidated) antibodies evaluation, IgG and IgA.

    If the initial Immunoglobulin A (IgA) test is deficient then these two tests should be done:

    1. Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibody, IgG.
    2. Gliadin (deamidated) antibody, IgG.

    It sounds complicated, but it's pretty standard procedure now, and when blood screening is done this way the results for celiac disease are ~98% accurate.

    Children Should Now be Diagnosed Using Only Blood Tests and No Biopsy

    In most cases, it is no longer necessary to use biopsy to diagnose celiac disease in children

    Biopsy Still Standard in Adult Celiac Diagnosis

    After positive blood tests some doctors still require a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. However, this is changing, as new techniques allow doctors to accurately detect celiac disease in adults without a biopsy.

    Remember, nearly all tests and screening for celiac disease require the patient to be eating a gluten-containing diet before testing, usually for at least 4-6 weeks before testing. Be sure to check with your doctor for the latest protocol.

    Blood Tests for Follow Up Care

    Blood tests may also be useful in follow up care in those with celiac disease to confirm that their diet is indeed free of gluten. Also, because of the lack of standardization, keep in mind that blood test results may not be directly comparable from one lab to the next.

    More Celiac Disease Testing Resources

    Blood Test Questions on the Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Forum

    Edited by Scott Adams

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    I had horrible swelling throughout my body, fainting spells, gas bloating and stomach cramps. My results were all positive and high including the biopsy. If I accidently get gluten I know it right away too with horrible cramps.

    I am newly diagnosed celiac and have been gluten free for about a month and a half. I was in hospital for 12 days and then took 2 weeks after that off work. I also had a pretty bad colon infection and colitis. My diarrhea is now almost gone unless I am very stressed but my abdomen is still like someone who is 6 months pregnant and I am still in a lot of pain at times. I was wondering how long does it take for the swelling to go away?

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    I am newly diagnosed celiac and have been gluten free for about a month and a half. I was in hospital for 12 days and then took 2 weeks after that off work. I also had a pretty bad colon infection and colitis. My diarrhea is now almost gone unless I am very stressed but my abdomen is still like someone who is 6 months pregnant and I am still in a lot of pain at times. I was wondering how long does it take for the swelling to go away?

     

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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