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Is There Such Thing As False Positive?

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My bloodtests came back positive for celiac, and I'm currently waiting for the biopsy. Thing is, I have absolutely no symptoms. Could the blood test be wrong? A few months ago I got sick with antiobiotic colitis and c.difficile. Then, just when I was recovering, out of the blue the doctor says mmm, lets test you for celiac disease. Before the colitis and c.diff. I didn't have any celiac symptoms either. Anyone have any thoughts?

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I don't believe there can be a false positive. Technically, there could certainly be a lab mistake, where your sample got mixed up with someone else's. The blood test looks for raised antibody levels- which simply wouldn't be there if you weren't Celiac.

Some Celiacs are "asymptomatic." They have no noticeable symptoms, but this does not mean that there is not damage being done to the intestine! Therefore, no Celiac would be asymptomatic forever. That damage will cause symptoms on its own eventually. (Intestinal damage = villi damage, which causes a myriad of problems: vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, dental problems, infertility, cancer...)

Also, it is possible to have symptoms that you are so used to, that you just don't really notice them. For example, upon going gluten-free, one might notice an increase in energy- when they didn't even realize they were feeling run-down. Or clearer, sharper thinking... or a cessation of "normal" occasional heartburn... migraine headaches that you may have attributed to something else... etc.

But even if you are completely symptom free-- if you are Celiac, then gluten is destroying your small intestine, whether you can see it or not. :(

Hope this helps.


-Sarah

--Son, Lucas, age 7. Gluten-free since May 2007

--Son, Ezra, age 5. Gluten-free 10/13/07. Bipolar tendencies, massively improved on gluten-free diet! He's also allergic to a jillion antibiotics.

--My mother has Celiac Disease, dx'ed by Positive Blood Tests and Biopsy. Diagnosed Sarcoidosis 6/08.

--Myself, Gluten-free since 8/07

Time heals all hurt of heart... but time must be won.

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this article may help you: https://www.celiac.com/articles/32/1/How-ac...ests/Page1.html

also know that celiac can be brought on in predisposed individuals by stress or illness

hope this helps!


Gluten Free since 10/07

Mildly Lactose Intolerant, slight intestinal symptoms after eating milk products, but easily corrected with lactase enzyme

Endometriosis- DX'd 5/07

Gluten Antibodies- "negative"...don't know exact numbers, am highly suspicious...

DXed celiac 12-19-07 via genetics/elimination diet- DQ2 allele

Brother with Celiac, aspergers...his tests were all negative (he didn't have genetics done), including endoscopy, but he definitely is at the least gluten intolerant...highly suspect my mother has it as well- she has hyperthyroid, fibromyalgia, hemochromatosis, and now colon cancer, and she has been weak and exhausted and just generally sick. She's going to get tested.

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The most likely thing is that the test is correct and you just don't have noticable symptoms.

There are some ways to get a false positive. Human error in reading slides on the tests that require examination of a slide. The American Celiac website says that other auto-immune diseases can theoretically cause a false positive but it says nothing about whether this has been demonstrated.

In my case, I had no outward symptoms but was tested as part of a large set of tests to try to explain some liver function issues. In retrospect, I could find things that were probably gluten reactions - upset stomach after a breakfast of pancakes or after drinking wheat-beer in Germany.

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Well, even concidering I have no "medically positive" results here is something to think about...

I am now 40 years old (not old if your a tree but I live with it) my first "celiac" symptoms started when I was in grade school and were ignored, had some more in high school, also ignored.... and until I was in my 30's did any major symptoms show up and they also were ignored by my doctor and misdiagnosed by him as well......

Yes I am angry about this not being found sooner and being found by the medical profession BUT

it took 5-10 years for the first symptom to appear and to be honest it could have been caused by almost anything

it took another 10 years for a few of the other symptoms to appear and again not unusual symptoms or even alarming

by the time I was 30 I knew something was going on.... diagnosed myself via diet between the ages of 35 and 38

so for 30+ years I didnt have very serious issues (but I was still destroying my intestines) why would it be found? I go to the doctor and say "I feel tired all the time" he checks my thyroid and its "borderline" and prescribes me a light dose of pills I feel better for a while then it eventually crawls back even with the pills.

It takes years to destroy everything and it takes years for it all to go back to normal and just because YOU dont recognise any symptoms or maybe even have them as yet, count yourself lucky its been found some of us weren't so lucky.

If you want to continue on a gluten containing diet go ahead its your choice but a few years down the road we will welcome you back with open arms(and keyboards) and help you start something you should be already on.


Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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Well, even concidering I have no "medically positive" results here is something to think about...

I am now 40 years old (not old if your a tree but I live with it) my first "celiac" symptoms started when I was in grade school and were ignored, had some more in high school, also ignored.... and until I was in my 30's did any major symptoms show up and they also were ignored by my doctor and misdiagnosed by him as well......

Yes I am angry about this not being found sooner and being found by the medical profession BUT

it took 5-10 years for the first symptom to appear and to be honest it could have been caused by almost anything

it took another 10 years for a few of the other symptoms to appear and again not unusual symptoms or even alarming

by the time I was 30 I knew something was going on.... diagnosed myself via diet between the ages of 35 and 38

so for 30+ years I didnt have very serious issues (but I was still destroying my intestines) why would it be found? I go to the doctor and say "I feel tired all the time" he checks my thyroid and its "borderline" and prescribes me a light dose of pills I feel better for a while then it eventually crawls back even with the pills.

It takes years to destroy everything and it takes years for it all to go back to normal and just because YOU dont recognise any symptoms or maybe even have them as yet, count yourself lucky its been found some of us weren't so lucky.

If you want to continue on a gluten containing diet go ahead its your choice but a few years down the road we will welcome you back with open arms(and keyboards) and help you start something you should be already on.

Hmmm, interesting points. For now, I've been instructed to keep eating gluten because I haven't had the biopsy yet. I suppose I could be asymptomatic because if I have celiac, I've maybe only had it for 2 months - ever since the colitis and c.difficile episode. Perhaps I had it before, but I certainly never had any of the problems with energy levels that people have described - I've a run a few marathons and I don't know how I could have done that if I was malnourished!!! For now, I'm still eating gluten until the biopsy, but doing my research so I have a game plan for when they tell me to stop eating gluten! Thanks for your comments!

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There are a LOT of people who are either asymptomatic, have very light symptoms, or have symptoms that are not GI related at all. It affects different people very differently, and you certainly could have run marathons with it (though who knows when it really was triggered). When you read symptom lists, remember that those are the symptoms that get doctors to pay attention and say "oh, something's really wrong", instead of writing it off as being a "bit off normal, but not really wrong", even though it is for a particular person.

I think you're on the right track - keep eating gluten for the biopsy while educating and preparing yourself. In the meantime, have something scrumptious for us all! :):D


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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