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Cybele

Testing For Celiac

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First of all, thank you for this site and forum. What a great resource. Second, I have a suspicion that I may have Celiac Disease. About 2 years ago, I started having problems with my digestion (mainly with proteins) in the form of acid reflux. For awhile I was able to deal with it with over the counter drugs. But, then it became chronic. I am a tour director and spend a lot of time talking and traveling. We had stopped at a Golden Corral and spent much of the time in the bathroom, while my group enjoyed their meal. On the way up to DC from Charlottesville, I continued to spit up into a bag. I was hoping a good night sleep would help but, I got no sleep, as all night long I spit up and was no able to talk the next day. Luckily a parent gave me enzymes that finally got me to digest the food from the night before. This was my rock bottom.

My brother is an Osteopath in Maine. He had me do an Organic Yeast test. He put me on a strict no sugar, wheat, or dairy diet for 6 months. I am now off the diet and still have acid problems when I eat wheat (though not as bad as that night). I have had a rash on my inner thighs for about 8 months and another on my wrist that is incredibly itchy. I have seen several doctors about this and have used anti-fungal creams and tea tree oil, which help temporarily with the itching but always comes back.

I heard on a few podcasts about celiac disease and did some research and found being gluten-free makes me feel better. I talked to my brother about this and he says that I should be tested. My question is this: I have been back on gluten for a few days (in order to do the Celiac test) but don't want to be continually throwing up. How long do I need to be eating gluten foods to get an accurate test result? I have not seen my regular doctor (not my brother) about this yet but, saw him early on and he had suggested one of the acid reflux otc drugs.

Thank you again for your assistance and this great site!

Cybele

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My question is this: I have been back on gluten for a few days (in order to do the Celiac test) but don't want to be continually throwing up. How long do I need to be eating gluten foods to get an accurate test result?

Hi Cybele and welcome!

Unfortunately, a few days back on gluten won't be enough for the tests to come back accurately. The rule of thumb is to consume the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread a day for 3-4 months prior to testing for Celiac. If you had intestinal damage, 6 months was likely enough time to heal to the point where the blood testing or an endoscopic biopsy would come back negative at this point.

Some people in your situation choose to let the positive response to the diet to be enough to decide to eat gluten-free and forgo a gluten challenge to pursue testing. It's a personal decision as to how important an "official" diagnosis is to you.

Here are the tests that make up the Celiac Blood Panel--

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG

Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA

Total Serum IgA

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