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Izabella

Testing Positive For Transglutaminase, Now What?

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Hello everyone, we are new to the board. I've joined because my daughter, Izabella, 4, was diagnosed (at an overseas military clinic) with Celiac desease after 2 years of severe constipation and sickness that all headed and landed her in the hospital where I was finally able to get someone to do a blood test. The only thing I am aware of is that the test came back positive for tissue transglutaminase IgG/IgA, if that doesnt seem right, I'm copying from a doctors note.

She tested negative for Gliadin antibodies and rye and wheat allergies.

Can anyone shed some light on any of this for me? No one here seems to know anything about it except to tell me to stop giving her food containing gluten. I'm not sure how the constipation works in all this? Should she be seeing a specialist or at least someone who knows more? I've been pushing for a gastrology referral, but with the language barrier with us in Europe, it is sometimes difficult, also, I'm not sure how much testing I'm comfortable with them doing on my child (invasive).

Any and all help is much appreciated!

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Celiac disease plays havoc with the digestive system (can totally destroy the lining of the small intestine) which leads to diarrhea, constipation, or both. It also causes malabsorption of nutrients and therefore nutritional deficiencies.

Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) is the first line test doctors usually run, along with AGA IgA and IgG). It is interesting to note that both her IgA and IgG tTG tests were positive. If you were in the U.S. a GI would probably want to do the endoscopy with biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, because in a small number of cases the tTG can be elevated by other things, but usually it is the gluten. However, more and more doctors are willing to give a diagnosis based on blood tests alone and it is up to you whether or not the biopsy is done if they have diagnosed her with celiac disease.

The one thing she does need following up on is blood work to check her vitamin and mineral levels. Even though she is so little these can stil be low and need supplementing. I am sure they have run her iron levels already but you also neec to check all vitamins, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, as all these are necessary for proper functioning of the body.

She has quite a bit of healing time ahead of her until the damage to her small intestine is repaired and everything gets back into balance. You may have found (or may now find) that she does not tolerate milk very well and this is because the enzyme to digest it is in an area that the gluten attacks. So if she has problems with lactose (milk, cream, ice cream) or with other dairy like butter and cheese as well, withhold these things from her diet for at least six months until she can start making this enzyme again. I don't know which country you are in and what substitutes are available in your commissary or on the local economy. Almond and rice milk are good subs and generally available. The commissary may have Lactaid milk which is regular milk with the enzyme added and she might tolerate that. Or you can often buy the enzyme separately - it works for some, not others.

Try to feed her a whole foods diet of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, rice, nuts, seeds - it is easiest to avoid gluten this way. I know in Germany and Italy gluten free substitute foods are sold in pharmacies; have no idea for other countries, but there should be local knowledge on this.

So long as you have the celiac diagnosis I would not look back; just follow the advice to go gluten free. This board is a great learning tool for gluten free living so read extensively. You may even find a book or two in the PX which would be helpful, or if you have a library on post. But since the advent of the internet information is freely available. Be sure to ask us any questions that pop up. :)

Best wishes for a quick recovery for wee Izabella.

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