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TimL

Testing My Wife For Celiac Disease

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We think my wife has celiac disease based on her symptoms - bloating, gas, lower abdominal pain, itchy rash, fatigue, joint pain, etc. Our local gastroenterologist is doing a small bowel biopsy. He said he will use an EGD procedure and take three samples of her small bowel. Is this a good way to diagnose celiac disease? Are three samples too many? How long will we have to wait for the results? Is another diagnosis possible, like IBS?

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Three samples are generally not enough. What were her blood test results?

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Usually they do the antibodie blood tests first. Then the endoscopy. The damage to the intestinal villi can be in patches and not all over. So that is why they normally take multiple tissue samples, so they don't miss it. But being a hit or miss game, they can still miss it!

She may not show up as celiac on either the blood tests or the biopsies, and still have celiac. The testing is not perfect on either one. Also some people have celiac but don't show much intestinal damage, but get damage in other areas of the body. Dermatitis Herpetiformis patients (celiacs) can have low intestinal signs, but they get the skin condition instead.

She may be told she has IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, which means the doctors don't know what the cause is.

There are other things, like Crohn's Disease, casein mediated enteropathy, and parasites possible. Gall bladder problems, although some people with celiac say their gall bladder symptoms improved after going gluten-free.

My sister's biopsy samples took 3 weeks for review.

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