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KathrynL

Celiac Blood Testing--Help Please

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My name is Kathryn and I've been gluten free for 10 months after a positive IGG test. I opted not to do the biopsy, and instead went completely gluten-free. I immediately felt better without gluten, but now I'm developing other symptoms that the GI thinks might suggest Crohn's. This GI is new and didn't do the igg blood test. He doesn't trust the reliability of that blood test, and wants to do the endomysial antibody IgA and TTG. For those, I need to start eating gluten again, which I'm dreading. I've already eaten my first gluten meal (pizza) and already been bloated, nauseous, and just ill. My doctor told me I only needed to eat gluten for 1.5-2 weeks in order for the antibodies to show up. However, I read online that it can take upwards of 1 month. Which is true? How long do I have to eat gluten to ensure the accuracy of the test? How much gluten do I need to eat each day?

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Hi Kathryn:

I asked the same question about a week ago. I'm still not sure what the answer is. I've heard everything from 2 weeks to 4 months! I'm just finishing day 8 of eating gluten and am having no ill effects, but I don't have a positive diagnosis, so I may not have celiac or gluten intolerance.

I did have a little discomfort right at first, but I think you're going to have that with any change in diet. It could be it'll get easier for you with time. If it doesn't, I'd advise you to go for as long as you can stand then have the test.

Very frustrating that you have to go through this.

Good luck!

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Do YOU care if you have a positive test result? Because if YOU don't care, there's no reason to do the tests. You feel better not eating gluten, and they can test for anything else regardless of what you eat.

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My name is Kathryn and I've been gluten free for 10 months after a positive IGG test. I opted not to do the biopsy, and instead went completely gluten-free. I immediately felt better without gluten, but now I'm developing other symptoms that the GI thinks might suggest Crohn's. This GI is new and didn't do the igg blood test. He doesn't trust the reliability of that blood test, and wants to do the endomysial antibody IgA and TTG. For those, I need to start eating gluten again, which I'm dreading. I've already eaten my first gluten meal (pizza) and already been bloated, nauseous, and just ill. My doctor told me I only needed to eat gluten for 1.5-2 weeks in order for the antibodies to show up. However, I read online that it can take upwards of 1 month. Which is true? How long do I have to eat gluten to ensure the accuracy of the test? How much gluten do I need to eat each day?

Hi KathrynL,

So sorry you have to face a gluten challenge. I know you can hear many different versions of what that entails, and even different doctors seem to give different answers, but this video clip is Dr Joseph A Murray, head of celiac research at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. It's a bit technical and really directed toward doctors, but if you watch it, he will tell you what the gluten challenge consists of timewise, and if at that time the tests are negative, he will give it up to 6 months, but not longer than that. Typically, I believe he says equivalent of four slices of wheat bread per day for 4 weeks for the test to be positive...but up to six months if it shows negative at the four week test point. http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/mediax/articles/hottopics/2010-06a2-insight/index.html

This video also explains why some positive biopsies may be false positive. The part about gluten challenge is toward the end of the video. Good luck ...hope this helps.

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You couldn't pay me enough to go back to eating gluten just to satisfy a doctor's "need to know".

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Thanks so much for all the great replies! I really don't understand why my doc wants to do this. Even if I'm not technically a "celiac," I know I'm gluten intolerant, and the end result is the same. I can't eat gluten.

I think my plan is to eat it as long as I possibly can stand to, and then take the blood test. That might mean eating it for only 3 days. If the blood test doesn't show the antibodies because I haven't given it enough time, well too bad. I'd rather keep my health than satisfy a doctor's curiosity.

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