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Benefits Of Testing

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If I plan on switching the whole family to a gluten-free diet, what are the benefits to having the children tested?

The cons are:

1) May have a false negative anyway

2) If diagnosis is on paper, they then have a pre-exisiting condition for future insurance issues.(Does it affect getting a life insurance policy?)

3) Extended family will think if tests are negative that means kids can/should eat gluten, and may not take the gluten-free diet seriously.

4) My youngest is 2 yrs old and still nurses. I've read that breastfeeding provides at least short term protection to a degree. So would the test have any degree of accuracy for him?

5) My older two (ages 10 and 7) have told me they would rather just go gluten-free than have the blood tests. They will be angry if I make them have the blood tests even though I plan on putting them on a gluten-free diet either way.

6) Also my 10 yr old has been wheat free (but not gluten free) for 2 years. Does that affect the test?

So, are there any benefits?

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A benefit of testing is knowing whether or not a gluten-free diet is really needed. While your kids might be ok with going gluten-free now and not knowing they absolutely have to. As they grow up that opinion may change especially when they are teens and spend more time with friends eating outside of the house. If they don't know whether or not they have celiac they may start to cheat on their diet or decide that they no longer want to follow a gluten-free diet. In order to test for celiac you have to be eating a lot of gluten for several months prior to the test. So if they stop eating gluten and then want to be tested at a later date it is more involved. Please don't let your children's hesitance to be tested sway your decision. At 7 and 10 they are too young to be making decisions that effect their health. Nobody wants to have blood drawn, but sometimes we need to in order to be healthy. You could always take them somewhere fun after the blood draw.

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