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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Questions About Blood Test

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Hello everyone. I'm new here, and I probably don't even have celiac disease but I have a few questions and I'm hoping someone can help.

I recently requested a blood test for celiac disease. I have a few relevant symptoms, and I have a close family member who has several symptoms as well. The test came back "normal" (I don't know the details, the receptionist told me this over the phone) but I am unable to let the whole idea go. I had removed most of the gluten from my diet two or three months before I had the test done, and I started eating it again five days beforehand. I know now from reading articles online that it wasn't long enough to make the result accurate. Also, when people say that steroid use skews the test, what exactly does that mean? I take a corticosteroid inhaler for my asthma, two puffs once a day. I have taken this medication daily for many years. Is that enough for the steroid to be in my bloodstream? If so, should my doctor have advised me to stop taking the inhaler before the test?

I'm not sure what to do now. I could continue to eat wheat, stop taking my inhaler and then have the test redone (assuming my doctor will give me another requisition) or I could continue to experiment with a gluten-free diet on my own and assume I am "gluten sensitive" in a way that can't be measured by the test.

Has anyone here had the blood test redone after preparing for it properly and had different results?

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It is possible that your period of being gluten-free could have caused a false negative in your results. Some people's blood work goes back to normal fairly quickly whereas in others in can take years. Also, many doctors will just run a tTG IgA and the total serum IgA control test, that tTG test has a sensitivity of 75-95% which means it can miss 5-25% of all celiacs. See page 12 of this report (a good read): http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/assets/export/userfiles/2012_Celiac%20Disease_long_FINAL.pdf  You might want to make sure you had more than just one test run.


You would have to resume eating a couple of helpings of gluten per day for about 2 months to get an accurate test; requirements for a gluten challenge range from 1-4 slices of bread per day for 1-3 months.


I don't know how steroids will affect the test. Perhaps the lab could tell you?


I can't answer you question. Hopefully someone else has had your experience.  Best wishes.

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Would taking steroids cause the blood tests to be inaccurate?

Yes, but only if you have been taking steroids for a prolonged period of time.

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Thank you! I have been taking the medication for years, for my asthma. They say that inhaled steroids only go to your lungs but that can't be true because long term use causes side effects in other parts of your body (eyes, bones etc.)  So it must be in the bloodstream. I'll ask the lab about it. Thanks!

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Guest myjade_84

I am also planning to undergo blood test for Celiac. But i have this fear that the test might not be reliable. But still i will do it and i won't change my diet yet. Maybe you should go back also on eating bread and then try the test again to be sure. 

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