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Dani Doll

Can You Test False Negative?

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I have been struggling with GI symptoms and other symptoms for years. About 2 years ago my GI specialist did an endoscopy/colonoscopy. Right after the procedure he came out and told me he found abnormal inflammed, red areas in my lower intestine and he strongly suspected that I had celiac disease, but the biopsies he took would confirm. When the results came in and he said I was negative for celiac's disease and diagnosed me as IBS with constipation. He had no explanation for my symptoms other than branding me IBS and he had no recommendations as to how to deal with the gas, bloating, constipation, severe heart burn, and stomach cramps I experience on a regular basis.

Last year I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which I thought explained a lot of symptoms. However, after a year of being on medication, my GI symptoms persist and I still suffer from fatigue, body aches and pains, chronic sinusitis, and a constant sore throat. Again, my endocrinologist says I am properly medicated for my hypothyroidism and has no explanation for all of these other symptoms.

Is it possible that my small intestine biopsies could have been false negatives? Has anyone heard of this happening? Are there any more conclusive tests for celiac's disease? I am so frustrated and tired of feeling this way. Please help!

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Hello to you!

There is still hope, and yes there is always the possibility of a negative biopsy, medical science is a fickle thing and with such a vast area of intestines to investigate they could have missed the actual sections that show signs of damage, but you'll hear a lot that many people here have so many negative tests. For years in fact when their symptoms progressively get worse.

If any other disorder has been ruled out, and they've done the proper tests. You might want to think about the specific blood tests for Celiac, or another biopsy, but really all that would do is rack your medical higher. So if you can good, but there is an even more common chance that the blood tests to be negative. Your best course of action would be to try the diet for a few months and see how that makes you feel, there's nothing to loose, only to gain! For me I started feeling better within two weeks, and I had both a negative blood test and biopsy.

Celiac is still a new disease to doctors, a big mystery. Now irritable bowel syndrome is just a catch all that doctors can diagnose people with, since its just an easy diagnosis to cover what they don't yet know. My GI said that it as just an easy way to pass off all of the diseases that mankind has yet to discover.

Things will get better soon, your in the right place! Welcome to the forums! Read around, its the best way to learn and be armed with knowledge on this tricky disease.

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Unfortunately, false negatives are extremely common, whilst false positives are almost unheard of. both for blood work and endoscopy. Have you ever had the celiac blood panel of tests run:

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG

Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA

Total Serum IgA

This is the accepted panel of blood work for celiac disease and is normally done before the endoscopy. If it has not been run I would suggest that you have it done, bearing in mind that it could well be negative too and still not mean that you don't have celiac or, at the very least, gluten intolerance. If you cannot get a diagnosis, there is nothing to stop you from putting yourself on the gluten free diet and see if it eases your symptoms. You do not need a doctor's permission to do this and it is not in the least bit harmful to you.

The fact that you have what sounds like autoimmune thyroid problems would seem to suggest that gluten could well be the cause. Whatever the results of any blood tests, give the diet a good trial and you might be surprised at the results. Many of us here do not have any official diagnosis, having been abandoned by the medical profession as having IBS, fibromyalgia, and all the other wastebasket diagnoses. :rolleyes:

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You could also ask for a copy of your original test and post the results here. Can't hurt to have a second look.

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Yes. Some labs see "some blunting" and say "oh, there's nothing wrong here". Some will dx with less damage. It's subjective, and if you haven't tried the gluten-free diet at this point, I highly recommend giving it a go.

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