23117 Blood Tests Different in Patients with Gluten Sensitivity Than in Those with Celiac Disease - Celiac.com
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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.

Photo: CC--Thirteen Of ClubsThe 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.

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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.

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4 Responses:

 
Chester
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said this on
03 Dec 2012 10:00:08 PM PDT
Interesting and helpful.

 
SandraB
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said this on
11 Dec 2012 12:41:46 AM PDT
It reads as though we are still a long way from a blood test for gluten sensitivity though.

 
Angie
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said this on
11 Dec 2012 8:50:12 AM PDT
My son has been eating gluten-free for 6 years, as recommended by his doctor. She only tested his IGG and IGA levels, which were both in the high range. We recently visited a pediatric gastro who wanted us to gluten challenge him, to possibly get a diagnosis of celiac (or not). He couldn't tolerate more than 3 servings of gluten so we stopped. My question is: will the markers IgA tTGA or IgA EmA have positive results for someone who has celiac disease but has been gluten-free for 6 years?

 
Hilary
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said this on
13 Dec 2012 4:40:31 AM PDT
Once again an excellent informative article. Thanks, Jefferson!




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Maybe try a rice based milk, I find the coconut flavoured ones really good with cereal.

I guess they've never felt the political pressure the mainstream cereal producers were under in the age of rickets and pellagra? Plus there's not such a competitive market and its a cost manufacturers would sooner do without if they can, although if Udi's or Genius did start perhaps they'd get more business. I think I'll start eating flax seed again, that was good for fibre I think. I take a vitamin supplement also of course.

Good for you! One suggestion, if you run into another reaction like your Endo, try and ask a question which puts the burden of proof on them, ie: 'Given the positive blood test, on what clinical basis are you excluding celiac?' At least it forces them to be more precise and perhaps exposes any flaws in their reasoning. Although if you reach that stage with a doctor it's probably worth looking for another... If I were a cynic I'd say your Endo had already metaphorically left the building when they were analysing your tests.Your primary seems more on the ball though Best of luck! If and when you go gluten free come back here and there will be plenty of support for you.

Great Image JMG. Thanks for the feedback. I think I feel that the decision to push for further tests, and not shrug it off is the direction I want to go. And I think I may try the diet post-endoscopy, and see if I respond (particularly if my thyroid responds to the diet). Thank you All!

Only GIs can order a complete celiac panel at Kaiser. Your results look negative, but those are just "screening" results. You are not IgA deficient (used only as a control test for celiac disease) so that means the TTG IgA test worked. If you suspect celiac disease, ask for a GI referral. Keep eating gluten!!!! If you go gluten free then all the celiac tests will be invalid. You should rule out other issues like Crohn's, SIBO, etc based on your symptoms and health history. I would ask for a complete celiac panel from the GI. Why? Not all celiacs test positive to the TTG which is a cheaper, but excellent test but does not catch all celiacs like me!!!