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Does The Aga Igg/iga Blood Test Tell You Anything?

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Hi all. I had the ttg iga test run a few months ago and it was flat out negative (my total iga was normal). I still suspect I have an issue with gluten but our labs here don't run any other tests. I know that the local naturopath can run a 'celiac panel' that includes ttg iga (already know it's negative) along with antigliadin iga and igg. Now I know most labs don't run these tests any more as they aren't as specific (?) to celiac, but is there a possibility that they could tell me some useful information? Are there people who are actually celiac that only show positive antigliadin blood tests? Is there any proof that they show possible NCGI? I would love your opinions before I pay out of pocket to have these tests run. Thanks so much!

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Some doctors think that the AGA IgA and AGA IgG can show gluten senstivity (NCGI/NCGS) in individuals without celiac disease but that is not a widely accepted belief. It's discussed briefly in this report on page 11. On page 12 it shows that the sensitivity is not as good as the other tests so here is a chance that a gluten sensitivity (mainly celiac disease)  could be missed - especially in the AGA IgG.  Overall, I think the AGA tests are usually used for determining if one has celiac disease, and not NCGI. I'm not sure if there is anyone around here who "just" had a positive AGA test and was diagnosed with celiac disease, but I think that could be due to the fact that it's not run that often anymore because it is less reliable than the other tests.

 

If you are going to spend money on tests, you may want to consider the newer DGP IgA and DGP IgG tests. They tend to do a good job of detecting celiac disease, and are superior tests for detecting early cases of celiac disease.

 

You might want to have the tTG IgG run. Some celiacs are negative in all IgA based tests even though their total serum IgA is fine. There are a few active board members around who have had this experience.  And then there are those who had all negative blood tests but the endoscopic biopsy was positive (or vice versa).

 

There are a lot of tests because not everyone's celiac disease gets "caught" the same way.

 

If you run out of testing options, due to cost or availability, you could always go gluten-free and call yourself a possible celiac disease or NCGI.  Two of my kids definitely had issues with gluten. I am a celiac so I had them tested. The only test available was the tTG IgA, and it was negative. I made them gluten-free anyways and they are much healthier because of it. We still don't know if they have NCGI or celiac disease, but either way, the gluten-free diet is the treatment.

 

Best wishes.

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Did you have any nutrient levels tested?  Many of us have low vitamin B, D and iron/ferritin.  My levels were low, but since have come up. 

 

D

Thanks for the response. Yes, my iron is quite low. It was at 9 ug/L and after being on good quality oral iron supplements for a year it's only now at 12. I have an endometrial cyst on my ovary so my doctor believes this is due to heavy menstrual bleeding (which it may be...). My B12 was in the normal range for my lab (>150 is normal) but I feel it's still kind of low at 276 pmol/L. I don't know about my vitamin D levels... 

 

Some doctors think that the AGA IgA and AGA IgG can show gluten senstivity (NCGI/NCGS) in individuals without celiac disease but that is not a widely accepted belief. It's discussed briefly in this report on page 11. On page 12 it shows that the sensitivity is not as good as the other tests so here is a chance that a gluten sensitivity (mainly celiac disease)  could be missed - especially in the AGA IgG.  Overall, I think the AGA tests are usually used for determining if one has celiac disease, and not NCGI. I'm not sure if there is anyone around here who "just" had a positive AGA test and was diagnosed with celiac disease, but I think that could be due to the fact that it's not run that often anymore because it is less reliable than the other tests.

 

If you are going to spend money on tests, you may want to consider the newer DGP IgA and DGP IgG tests. They tend to do a good job of detecting celiac disease, and are superior tests for detecting early cases of celiac disease.

 

You might want to have the tTG IgG run. Some celiacs are negative in all IgA based tests even though their total serum IgA is fine. There are a few active board members around who have had this experience.  And then there are those who had all negative blood tests but the endoscopic biopsy was positive (or vice versa).

 

There are a lot of tests because not everyone's celiac disease gets "caught" the same way.

 

If you run out of testing options, due to cost or availability, you could always go gluten-free and call yourself a possible celiac disease or NCGI.  Two of my kids definitely had issues with gluten. I am a celiac so I had them tested. The only test available was the tTG IgA, and it was negative. I made them gluten-free anyways and they are much healthier because of it. We still don't know if they have NCGI or celiac disease, but either way, the gluten-free diet is the treatment.

 

Best wishes.

Thank nvsmom. You have helped me out with lots of questions I've posted previously so I appreciate the help :). I am in Alberta and I haven't seen any DGP IGA and IGG available anywhere. I haven't seen the tTG IGG available anywhere either. I wish wish wish I could have those run! I am heading to Vancouver later this month - is there anywhere I could have those tests run there? I'm really struggling with not having an official diagnosis, especially when I know there are other tests that could maybe show something. For my kids' sakes I wish I could have a definitive answer but I know that just may not happen...

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Do not fall for the old heavy menstrual bleeding routine! That and a genetic anemia masked my celiac disease. I mean it could be related, but maybe not.

I was diagnosed last year, but my husband was not. He went gluten-free 13 years ago at the advice of my allergist and his GP. The proof of his intolerance occurred with the strict avoidance of gluten. My cousin tested negative to the blood test and biopsy, but went gluten-free anyway and she feels great. We figured since her mom had gluten issues and I did, that was enough to keep her gluten free.

I wish you well!

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There are a lot of tests because not everyone's celiac disease gets "caught" the same way.

 

I love that you put it this way. It's just so true. 

 

I'd been having problems for years. New doctor said I presented celiac, but he opted to do a colonoscopy first because I'd had polyps before. He went into the ileum and found completely flattened villi. That's when he ordered an endoscopy for the next time and did blood work. Endoscopy also showed inflamed esophagus and more flattened villi. The only positive bloodwork was the ttg igg. Ttg iga was fine. 

 

What a ride. I just had my follow up appointment last week and am anxiously awaiting those results. I can see that ferritin is really low but B12 looks ok. We'll see. 

 

Stay on the hunt!

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Do not fall for the old heavy menstrual bleeding routine! That and a genetic anemia masked my celiac disease. I mean it could be related, but maybe not.

I was diagnosed last year, but my husband was not. He went gluten-free 13 years ago at the advice of my allergist and his GP. The proof of his intolerance occurred with the strict avoidance of gluten. My cousin tested negative to the blood test and biopsy, but went gluten-free anyway and she feels great. We figured since her mom had gluten issues and I did, that was enough to keep her gluten free.

I wish you well!

 

Thank you! I am on progesterone only birth control pill now so my bleeding should decrease. Hopefully my iron levels start to go up more but if they don't, maybe the doctor will agree to send my for an endoscopy :). I'm glad your family feel better gluten free. I may have to follow their lead and go gluten free without a diagnosis. That wouldn't be the end of the world!

I love that you put it this way. It's just so true. 

 

I'd been having problems for years. New doctor said I presented celiac, but he opted to do a colonoscopy first because I'd had polyps before. He went into the ileum and found completely flattened villi. That's when he ordered an endoscopy for the next time and did blood work. Endoscopy also showed inflamed esophagus and more flattened villi. The only positive bloodwork was the ttg igg. Ttg iga was fine. 

 

What a ride. I just had my follow up appointment last week and am anxiously awaiting those results. I can see that ferritin is really low but B12 looks ok. We'll see. 

 

Stay on the hunt!

That's why I wish we had more testing options available - they treat the tTG IGA like a one-size-fits-all test and it really isn't. Many people probably test negative when they are in fact celiac. 

My doctor is willing to send me for a colonoscopy due to GI issues I've had all my life (I've been diagnosed with IBS) so maybe I should go ahead with that... Thanks for your input.

 

So the general consensus is that the AGA igg/iga tests are pretty useless? Is there any way I could get the DGP tests and tTg IGG tests here in Alberta? Google searches haven't been fruitful...

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Yeah, I went on Hormone replacement to stop my 30 day periods that dropped my hemoglobin levels so low that I could not breathe well. It worked (and I did not need a hysterectomy that my GYN. Was hoping for!) I took iron and then my ferritin level increased to just within the normal range. Hemoglobin always is just below range due to genetic anemia. A year later, I officially went through menopause and my ferrtin dropped again. That is when the GI caught the celiac disease. I was in for a routine colonoscopy. He ordered the blood tests and added an endoscopy along with my colonoscopy.

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You could try the AGA tests but the only result you can be sure is accurate is a positive; the negatives could be a false negative.... You never know.

Is it possible to get the endoscopy done at the same time as the colonoscopy? A few have had it done that way but I am not aware if they do it that way out here. I never saw a GI ( the wait time was crazy) so I don't know.

I suppose you could ask if they could run the DGP tests and send it to an out of province lab. I know someone who had tht done for a different test, so it can be done.

Hang in there. I know it is super frustrating.

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Yeah, I went on Hormone replacement to stop my 30 day periods that dropped my hemoglobin levels so low that I could not breathe well. It worked (and I did not need a hysterectomy that my GYN. Was hoping for!) I took iron and then my ferritin level increased to just within the normal range. Hemoglobin always is just below range due to genetic anemia. A year later, I officially went through menopause and my ferrtin dropped again. That is when the GI caught the celiac disease. I was in for a routine colonoscopy. He ordered the blood tests and added an endoscopy along with my colonoscopy.

Wow - yeah, low iron after menopause is certainly a red flag! I'm sorry it took so long for you to get a diagnosis but I'm glad they figured it out :)

 

Maybe he could at least peek at your terminal ileum during your colonoscopy? Worth an ask? I hope you find an answer.

 

Yeah, I will definitely ask! It couldn't hurt. Thanks so much :)

You could try the AGA tests but the only result you can be sure is accurate is a positive; the negatives could be a false negative.... You never know.

Is it possible to get the endoscopy done at the same time as the colonoscopy? A few have had it done that way but I am not aware if they do it that way out here. I never saw a GI ( the wait time was crazy) so I don't know.

I suppose you could ask if they could run the DGP tests and send it to an out of province lab. I know someone who had tht done for a different test, so it can be done.

Hang in there. I know it is super frustrating.

Thanks - my regular doctor really didn't think an endoscopy was warranted at all so I'm not sure how much help he'll be. Since he's willing to send me for a colonoscopy though I could just take my chances and hope the GI is more willing to look for possible celiac damage. And maybe he'd look into out-of-province DGP testing, if only to shut me up! Lol! Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will certainly look into it. 

All the best to you all! 

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