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Interpreting Negative Tests

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Last summer I had a negative blood test for celiac and for some food allergies - but only after I had been wheat- and dairy-free for 6 weeks on the advice of my acupuncturist. After reading here for awhile, it occurred to me to wonder exactly what tests had been done, and if I could glean any information from them at all after 6 weeks off wheat (still eating barley and rye, though).

My main symptom had been eczema, on my face and the fingers of my right hand, and gradually worsening for about 10 years. In retrospect, I think I was just starting to have digestive symptoms, but they were mild enough that I didn't really realize I was having them until they went away. And since I quit wheat and dairy at the same time, I don't know which one was responsible for the digestive stuff.

After about 4 months wheat- and dairy-free (which made my ezcema maybe 80 or 90% better), I went completely gluten-free, and cut out yeast and vinegar as well. That seems to have taken care of the rest of my symptoms, so I'm pretty sure that I'm gluten-sensitive in some sense, although it's hard to know what was caused by gluten vs. the other stuff. (Vinegar definitely contributes to my eczema, for instance.)

So anyway, I finally got around to getting copies of my test results today. What was actually done was the tissue transglutamine test, and it looks pretty definitively negative:

tissue transglutamine IgA: 3.8 (< 20 is negative)

tissue transglutamine IgG: 3.9 (< 20 is negative)

I also had RAST tests done for some standard food allergens (egg white, milk, wheat, corn, peanut, soy, almond, shrimp, tuna), and they were all definitively negative as well.

So I'm left wondering what to make of all this, and whether it would be worth my while to pony up the $$$ for the Enterolab tests. I'm definitely NOT interested in going back on gluten for testing purposes. (Even if I were, my hunch is that even if I was starting to see celiac symptoms, it was probably in the very early stages and unlikely to show up on traditional tests without spending a LONG time back on gluten.)

I don't suppose that I have any definitive need for a diagnosis; I mean, I feel better off gluten, so just don't eat gluten, right? But I'm vaguely concerned that my kids could be impacted eventually, and it would be nice to have a better idea of what's actually going on with me.


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