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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

Had Bloodwork, Now I Am Confused

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About 9 months ago I was having problems with bloating, gas and loose stool before noon. I finally traced it down to the milk I was drinking in the morning. I switched to Lactaid (lactose free) milk and most of those symptoms went away. I assumed I was lactose intolerant. Yet I can often eat cheese and ice cream and have no problems, but sometimes I will get small amounts of bloating and loose stool. But it is very inconsistent and take the lactase pills doesn't seem to make much difference. Because it was so inconsistent I was never convinced it was lactose intolerance. As an example, my wife made pasta with a beef/tomato sause and I was sick within 5 minutes of eating. The next night I ate the exact same thing and was not sick at all.

I went to my GP last week and told him of my problems and he did ordered a blood test. He said everything was normal except IGG. It was 32 (and said >30 is moderate to strong). He wants me to go on a gluten-free diet for a while to see if things get better. But what confuses me is that during the last month, I switched my breakfast from oatmeal and Lactaid milk to Kashi Organic waffles, soy sausage links and milk. Both have lots of soy protein and a good amount of fiber. My problems that weren't so bad to begin with have almost completely vanished. And those Kashi waffles have lots of gluten. I don't really see what going gluten-free will do now since I am not having very many (if any) symptoms. But if I don't have celiac disease, why did the IGG come back so high? Can other things cause the IGG to be high?

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IGG can be elevated for other reasons. Your results are conscidered inconclusive, since they don't tell you if you have celiac disease or not. I would request a referral to a GI if I were you. You should be tested further, either by endoscopy or gene tests. It is best to get the testing done before you start a gluten-free diet, since once you are on the gluten-free diet your body would start to heal (if you have celiac disease) and then it can mess up the test results later, even if you go back on gluten for the testing.

Also, it is not uncommon for people with celiac disease to be symptom free or have the symptoms come and go. It is part of the reason that it is so hard for doctors to diagnose the disease. Just becasue the symptoms are lessened or gone does not mean that gluten is not harming you. If you have a gluten intolerance the only way to be sure that you are not damaging your intestines is to be completely gluten free, whether you have symptoms or not. Please check into further testing.

God bless,


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Guest gillian502

I agree, it's always a good idea to pursue further testing. An elevated Igg is common, though, and can be there for many, many reasons. You would have to question the dr. about why that was elevated to get a better grasp on what's going on. My nieces both tested Igg positive but the rest were negative, and they followed up with a GI dr. anyway and were told not to do anything, that it was fine. I don't know if that was good advice or not! but that's what they were told, and you may get the same advice. Apparently an elevated Igg isn't such a huge deal. Your symptoms, though, are troublesome enough to get further tests.

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I called the Dr. and found out that he only tested for anti-gliadan IgG and IgA. I have read where those aren't even the best indicators for celiac disease. I told him that going on a gluten-free diet is pointless. Since I haven't had symptoms in a while, what would he expect to happen? If the symptoms aren't there, how could it get better with a gluten-free diet? It is not like he is asking me to lay off red meat for a while (which would be fairly easy). I think going gluten-free is a big step. But of course going gluten-free doesn't cost the insurance money. I think at a minimum more detailed blood tests should be performed and a referral to a GI Dr.

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One additional test to consider is total serum IGA. If you have an IGA deficiency, any IGA test will come up negative no matter what.

Even without symptoms, gluten can slowly be causing damage. An ounce of prevention is always a good idea.

My brother's situation is similar to yours: positive on AGA IGG and negative on AGA IGA. However he is also anemic and other tests have not determined the cause. He had his tests at my urging after I got a strong positive on the TTG IGA test and improvement on a gluten-free diet (I also suspect our mother suffered for years with undiagnosed celiac disease.) He is going gluten-free, but I think more tests should be done.

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My IgG was high (86), something else was borderline pos. (IgG retic?). that was it on my bloodwork. Doc said we needed to do endoscopy. We did. It was positive. It happens. BTW I had similar symtoms off and on with milk (but I could tolerate cheese and icecream--apparently according to one of my docs this is not too uncommon with lactose intolerance). Anyway, now I know that during those years when symtoms just came and went I had celiac disease--now I have damage and now I have symptoms much more frequently.

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