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~alex~

Testing Family Members

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Is it important to get family members tested for Celiac? My dad and brother don't seem to have any symptoms of Celiac disease but I have read here that some people are asymptomatic. I don't know anyone in my extended family who has Celiac so I don't know if the genetic predisposition comes from my dad or mom's side (or both).

So should they just keep in mind that it might be Celiac if they ever start experiencing GI problems or should they get the blood tests now anyway? I'm not sure they would anyway since they are both quite healthy but I might be able to convince them. Does anyone know what the standard practice is for asymptomatic first degree relatives?

Thanks,

Alex

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I think if they're willing to get tested, it's a good idea. They may be asymptomatic. I am trying to get family member's tested, and they aren't really open to it, even the one's with terrible GI symptoms. But, I can only make suggestions. So, if they're willing, I would suggest it.

Kassandra

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Hi Alex,

My gastroenterologist told me that I should talk to all of my first-degree relatives about being tested. Then, he wrote it again on my test results! I think he feels prettty strongly about it :D

It makes sense, since Celiac is genetic.

I've done that, of course, but so far only 2 have been tested. One was negative, and the other is awaiting her results now.

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Thank you for the responses. It has been gnawing at me that I should try to convince my dad and brother to ask their doctors to do a Celiac panel. I don't know how easy it'll be since I don't know the last time either of them have even been to a doctor. Both of them would go to the ends of the earth for me so maybe if I slant it that they would be doing it for me they'll be more receptive. It would put my mind at ease to know that they don't have any silent damage going on. I worry about my guys.

Thanks,

Alex

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I would strongly urge it. There is so much more to celiac than just tummy troubles and often folks won't realize how much it effects them until it is gone. We had all family members tested. The only one who shows up negative is me, all others were positive. I was the most severely ill and have the most residual damage so even if they do come back negative if they become symptomatic they should be at least retested and try the diet.

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Yep, being asymptomatic means nothing...I had NO symptoms before being diagnosed, except for low iron.

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After I was diagnosed my mother got tested on her own and tested positive, but she had as many symptoms as I did. My brother and father both refuse to get tested. They say they just don't have the will power to go on the diet and so they would rather not know. I did go ahead and get both of my children tested right away and both have tested negative! It is a huge relief to know, so as just a piece of mind thing it is definitely worth it as well as if you are able to catch it early before damage and symptoms occur.

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Thanks everyone for urging me to do this. I've been thinking that I should for awhile but kept putting it off. I spent the day with my dad today and told him about how I really thought he should get the blood tests even though he's seemingly asymptomatic. Despite some initial resistance he agreed to do it and he's a man of his work so if he's promised me he'll do it, he will.

But now I'm really worried that he could have Celiac. I don't know how well he'd do with the gluten free diet. He's not the greatest cook in the world and he's pretty set in his ways. And I think it would be much harder to stay faithful to the diet if you didn't have noticeable symptoms. I'm sure he and I could figure it all out if need be but now I just can't stop worrying about him.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice on this matter. I have a feeling my brother might be harder to convince but I guess I'll just have to be persistent.

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Alex:

This is from the Columbia University Celiac Center's website (might be good to have a reference when trying to convince them)

Q: Why do my family members need to be screened for celiac disease?

When the diagnosis is established in one family member, their first- degree relatives (parents, siblings and children) should have blood tests for celiac disease. This is because at least 10% of family members will have the disease, even if they are asymptomatic. Screening is also recommended for second-degree relatives (grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins) as they are also at an increased risk for celiac disease. Family members who already have an autoimmune disease are at a greatly increased risk to have celiac disease (25%).

http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...nts/A02-FAQ.htm

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This is from the Columbia University Celiac Center's website (might be good to have a reference when trying to convince them)

Thanks so much for that information and link. Both my dad and brother have psoriasis (which I think might be an autoimmune disease) so I guess that makes it even more important that they get tested.

But I hope so so much that they don't have it.

Thanks again. I could use all the scientific info and facts that I can get when it comes to convincing my brother to be tested.

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Guest j_mommy

Yup...I had my son tested right away and am still trying to convience my dad and grandma to be tested. My mom promised to have my sisters tested the next time they go in.

It's hard...I'm pretty sure I got it form my dad's side....my Gma refuses...she says if she tests positive it won't matter anyway b/c she will not change her diet!!!

So in teh end you just do what you can to educated your family and hope for the best!

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