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I'm a newly diagnosed celiac and as far as we know - no one else in my family has this. But, I understand there is a strong hereditary component to it. My GI doctor suggested that my first-degree relatives get tested for celiac. I finally convinced my parents that it's possible to have celiac and be doing damage without having GI symptoms. My mom requested that her family doctor run a celiac test and found out that the provincial health insurance plan (OHIP) doesn't cover celiac blood work and it's $150, so because she feels fine, she's not going to have the test done.

I understand not wanting to spend that much money on tests when you feel fine (it'll be $300 to get both my parents tested), but is there any other way? I thought I read something about an over the counter test? Is there some sort of cheaper test that could be done? What if she just had her iron and vitamin levels tested first and if those were unusually low, pay for a celiac screen?

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It really would be best if they went ahead and got the screening. There is something called silent celiac, where no GI symptoms are present and also celiac can effect just about any organ including the brain. Not everyone who carries the genes develops celiac and also celiac can appear at any time, usually after a stressor or severe illness. So if the screening is negative if symptoms do develop retesting is advised.

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