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roses8

What Does A Weak Positive Ttga Mean?

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Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone knows what it means to have a weak positive TTGA (tissue transglutamine level? I have had two consecutive weak positive results. What is the likelihood that someone with a weak positive result is actually a true celiac? I have had persistent gas and bloating, and lactose intolerance. My doctor says a biopsy is the next step, but that seems a bit drastic.

Actually, I am confused about the research that I have read because; usually there are lots of references to the presence of these ttga auto antibodies, as being a strong indication of celiac. But if that is true, why are there any normal levels of these antibodies, do most people have a small amount of them, or not? And if normal people have them, what are they for?

Thanks for any insight into this,

Roses

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A positive tTG (even a weak positive) is indicative of Celiac. The next logical step would be to have the biopsy or begin the diet. If the biopsy is negative you could still have Celiac as the biopsy can't rule OUT celiac. If its positive then there are no doubts about it. The biopsy is no big deal...its totally pain-free. I'm pretty sure its best to have no tTG present but if its higher than what is considered to be the "normal" range then this indicates that damage is occurring due to gluten consumption.

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I had a weak positive too, but I had been on the gluten-free diet for two months already. I was feeling better and didn't wish to start eating gluten again for a biopsy. I would recommend you have the biopsy. My GI told me I probably had Celiac (my son has it too) and to follow the diet. My level was two points below the abnormal. He said most people that don't have it, would have a number of Zero. My other son got tested and his number was zero, plus all his other celiac panel levels were normal.

The biopsy is painless so they say and I sort of wish I had had it done, but not willing to make myself sick again to have it done.

Monica

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He said most people that don't have it, would have a number of Zero.

Really? I had this test done after 6 weeks off wheat, and my numbers were 3.8 IGA/3.9 IGG, with "normal" being anything less than 20. I assumed that this was a definitive negative - not too surprising since I had been off wheat for 6 weeks. But I *was* still eating barley and rye at the time, and I've been trying to find out if a test done at that point could yield any useful information at all. It would be nice to have something in the way of useful test results, but no way am I going back on gluten just for that!

Jeanne

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Jeanne,

That was my understanding too, that anything less than 20 was negative, and that anything over twenty is suspect. But, I don't know whether most "normal" people have numbers that are close to twenty, or not.

My numbers for TTGA were in the low mid twenties. I have heard that most celiacs not on the diet have much higher numbers than that, but I'm not sure.

It is very confusing. Does anyone else remember their pre-diagnosis antibody level ?

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My TTG antibody level at my doctor's office was only 10.5 and they found moderate damage when they did the endoscopy...weird?

Jeanne,

That was my understanding too, that anything less than 20 was negative, and that anything over twenty is suspect. But, I don't know whether most "normal" people have numbers that are close to twenty, or not.

My numbers for TTGA were in the low mid twenties. I have heard that most celiacs not on the diet have much higher numbers than that, but I'm not sure.

It is very confusing. Does anyone else remember their pre-diagnosis antibody level ?

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My son's pre-dx Ttg was 152, after 3 months gluten-free it was 75, and after 20 months it was 8.

My husband's Ttg was 24, a "weak positive" and his GI wanted to scope him. My son's peds GI said that in her opinion, there's no such thing as a weak positive -- non-celiacs are clearly negative, celiacs (silent ones included) are positive or weakly positive. He opted not to have a biopsy, on the grounds that it could easily miss a damaged spot, come back negative, and he'd be misdiagnosed.

So he went gluten-free, has never felt better in his whole life. Has not yet been re-tested

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Sorry to add to the confusion but my tTg was only a 10 in Sept. (doc said probably have Celiac) and only a 7 in Nov. (2nd doc said no way I have Celiac) so I went to a 3rd doc to break the tie. He looked at both test result labs and said my number wa coming down, not going up, so I don't have it. Insisted on a biopsy b/c other 2 docs said I needed it. 3rd doc called last Monday to say my results show classic Celiac Sprue. Also on my lab pages it clearly states 5-9 is weak positive and 10+ is positive but apparently every lab is different. No wonder everyone is so confused about this condition.

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Good for you, floridanative - I'm glad you were diagnosed solidly sprue and that you pursued it. Funny how doctors are...

Sorry to add to the confusion but my tTg was only a 10 in Sept. (doc said probably have Celiac) and only a 7 in Nov. (2nd doc said no way I have Celiac) so I went to a 3rd doc to break the tie. He looked at both test result labs and said my number wa coming down, not going up, so I don't have it. Insisted on a biopsy b/c other 2 docs said I needed it. 3rd doc called last Monday to say my results show classic Celiac Sprue. Also on my lab pages it clearly states 5-9 is weak positive and 10+ is positive but apparently every lab is different. No wonder everyone is so confused about this condition.

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Please be careful when looking at the numbers. Different labs have different values for negative and positive. It all depends on where your bloodwork is sent. The lab should provide the doctor with thier specific normal and abnormal ranges.

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Thanks AmandaD. When I think back at how I had to trick the doc into doing the biopsy by saying that I'd just go back to the first GI and get him to do it, I realized that if someone less headstrong than I had been sitting in his office, they would have left happily with the untrue knowledge that they didnt' have Celiac and continued to get sicker. Once he called last week I realized why he would not look me in the eyes after the endo. I'm sure he saw the damage but would not mention it to me since he basically treated me like a hypochondriac in his office 10 days before. Nice!

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