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MurrayM

Canadian Lab Doing Genetic Testing?

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Yes, you can get genetic testing done in Canada. Not sure how many labs do it though...and the testing is expensive, so you may find a doctor is reluctant to make a request for it without a good reason to do so (ie, if no one in your family has previously been diagnosed with celiac, then genetic testing would not be ordered for you.) Of course, YMMV, so you may find a doctor willing to back you up on it.

Michelle

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...and the testing is expensive, so you may find a doctor is reluctant to make a request for it...

Hi Michelle,

Yes, that's what happened. He's almost 100% sure I'm Celiac based on the description of my symptoms, and how they went away after going gluten free.

What I can't figure out is, in this case, having a USD $150.00(ish) genetic test is far cheaper than having me on a gluten challenge, then having me in a hospital day surgery suite, with a surgeon and a nurse, getting an endoscopy done, then having a medical lab process the biopsy. Weird crazyness!!???!!

I've been gluten free for several years now so I'm not too crazy about how 'crappy' my life will be back on gluten for over a month. I do want to find out for sure though as it really impacts our lives, and I have a 5 year old daughter who should know to watch out for this in the future.

Murray

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What I can't figure out is, in this case, having a USD $150.00(ish) genetic test is far cheaper than having me on a gluten challenge, then having me in a hospital day surgery suite, with a surgeon and a nurse, getting an endoscopy done, then having a medical lab process the biopsy. Weird crazyness!!???!!

Except that there is value in endoscopy beyond doing a biopsy for celiac. Visual inspection of the stomach & duodenum may give clues to other issues that are impacting your health, and can guide the doctor in proper treatment. A genetic test, however, may not give you the answers you want...especially if there is a celiac or gluten intolerant gene at play that hasn't yet been "discovered" through research.

Michelle

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Except that there is value in endoscopy beyond doing a biopsy for celiac. Visual inspection of the stomach & duodenum may give clues to other issues that are impacting your health, and can guide the doctor in proper treatment. A genetic test, however, may not give you the answers you want...especially if there is a celiac or gluten intolerant gene at play that hasn't yet been "discovered" through research.

Thanks Michelle, you've raised a couple really good points there. I'll have to look into things further and see if the positives of endoscopy outweigh the negatives of a gluten challenge. I want to feel convinced I'm doing the right thing before putting my body through all that grief.

I'm a letter carrier, so all those trips to the bathroom while I'm sorting mail in the morning to 'completely drain the system' before walking my route is a royal pain!!!

Although...hmmm...pizza and beer for the hockey playoffs?

Murray

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On the other hand you should be aware that if you've been gluten free for several years, it might take much much longer than a month to see any damage in the intestines, so all you might end up doing is making yourself sick and still get a negative diagnosis.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but be aware of all the pros and cons.

Pauliina

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There is a genetics lab at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and a genetics clinic at Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary. Although the lab is based at a Children's hospital - they do genetic testing on any age. You need a referral - you can check with your doctor and discuss why you would prefer it over endoscopy or gluten challenge etc.

Michi8 made excellent points about genetic testing and not to rely soley on those results.

Sandy

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