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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Confused About Labs...
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5 posts in this topic

Hello everyone!

 

I'm new to this board and new to celiac in general. Although I am a dietitian, we rarely deal with gluten-free diets in our practice.

 

I'm 29 yo and I've had digestive, IBS-C (occ D) symptoms my entire life. I went to GI recently as I have a tiny amount of bleeding from hemorrhoids/fissures but of course my anxious brain immediately thinks colon cancer.

 

I've been on levothyroxine for about 1.5 yrs.  Thyroid antibodies indicated it was Hashimoto's.  My dosage of levothyroxine was recently increased to optimize my TSH (which has been wnl since starting the meds) as all my providers were worried that I was going to instantaneously get pregnant after my September wedding.

 

The GI physician's assistant I saw did a celiac panel during my appt as a "cover all our bases" type of test.

 

My results were:

 

Component Your Value Standard Range Units Flag TTG IGA 42 <20 units A TTG IGA INTERP Positive     A

 

Component Your Value Standard Range Units Flag ANTI-GLIADIN AB, IGA 8 <20 units   GLIADIN IGA INTERP Negative       ANTI-GLIADIN AB, IGG 34 <20 units A GLIADIN IGG INTERP Positive     A

 

 

Sorry for the long-winded backstory, but I haven't heard from my provider yet and I'm confused as to what these results might mean. I know that TTG can be positive with Hashimoto's but does that happen even if the TSH is controlled?  Do the anti-gliadin numbers even mean anything?  I'm getting mixed messages online about the frequency of TTG false positives.

 

Any enlightenment will be much appreciated! I don't want to go gluten-free until after testing is done and/or until it's confirmed that I have celiac.

 

Thanks!

Theresa

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The tTG IgA can indicate other illnesses like thyroiditis, diabetes, crohn's, colitis, liver disaese and even serious infection BUT when that occurs, it is (in my experience) always a weak positive and not with a result that is over double the upper limit of the test.  Also, the tTG iGA is between 91-99% specific to celiac disease so few (weak) positives (roughly 5%) can be attributed to other causes.... Those are the false positives that you mentioned.

 

The ttG IgA tests for autoantibodies that will do, or attempt, damage to the intestinal villi. If it is elevated enough for the test to note it, chances are that there is some serious damage being done (or attempted) in your gut.

 

The AGA IgA is an older test that test for gliadin sensitivity and is thought by some to indicate gluten sensitivity in both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI). It is not a very sensitive test though (misses many gluten sensitive people) so doctors don't use it often anymore.

 

Basically, with those two tests you know that your villi are being damaged, AND that you have a gluten sensitivity. That points to celiac disease in my opinion. :(

 

If the doctor wishes you to have an endoscopy, ensure he is taking 6 or more biospy samples so he will be less likely to miss the damage if it is patchy. I'm glad you know to keep eating gluten for that. :)

 

Welcome to the board.   :)

 

Edited to correct some info

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Looks like a positive celiac test to me, you'll most likely have an endoscopy to verify

Ttg is more false negative then false positive. And you already have the autoimmune thyroid condition which is linked to celiac

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Thank you so much for your replies!! They were a huge help!

 

My doc called and wants me to have an endoscopy but said it's likely that I have celiac. I'm definitely in shock and processing it....

 

Thanks again!

Theresa

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well this is the place to be. you will find support and a wealth of information.

 

start by reading the Newbie 101 thread that is pinned at the top of the coping with board. It will be the most helpful thing you have ever read I promise :)

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