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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.

Going Crazy-Need Help Please
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I have been suffering terribly with stomach issues. I specifically asked my doctor to test me for Celiac. Last week I got the call from my Doctor that my blood test came back positive for Celiac Disease. Since I am PETRIFIED of having this biopsy, he told me I can just start eating gluten free. Even suggested I see a Nutritionist. I think it would be beneficial for me to have the biopsy, just to be 100% sure. Does anyone have an opinion about this? How accurate are the blood tests?

Also, when I decided I'd make an appt for gastro doctor, I called back to see if I should start eating gluten free. He told me I should. But now I am confused from my research. Can I eat gluten free before the biopsy? Not sure if it's the blood test that will get incorrect results from gluten free eating, or the biopsy.

Sorry, I am very overwhelmed and confused. Waiting until March 5th for appointment with gastro doctor is like an eternity. I am going CRAZY. And I want to feel better. NOW.

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Is your gastro appointment for the actual biopsy, or just an initial appointment to see if a biopsy is needed which would be scheduled another time? I'm not positive, but 1 week on a gluten-free diet may not make a great deal of difference on the biopsy results, but generally you should continue to eat gluten until all testing is complete.

According to what I just saw on this other thread: it's possible to get a false negative on the blood test, but if it's positive then it's positive. If the dr. will diagnose you based on the blood test without the biopsy, that might be the way to go. In the end it's your decision, though.

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depends how long you have to wait for the biopsy. However, a false negative biopsy is more common than a false positive blood test. Depends on the severity of villi damage....you can have symptoms even before the villi are severely damaged...

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Welcome to the board, varthurs. Some tests for celiac are more definitive than others. Do you know what blood tests your doctor ran and which were positive? The only test which could potentially falsely indicate celiac disease is the tTG, in which a positive result can possibly indicate other conditions besides celiac. But if you have a positive tTG and your symptoms disappear with a gluten free diet, well then I think you have your answer.

It is entirely your choice whether or not you have the biopsy, but if you do decide to have it you should continue eating gluten up until the time of the test to attempt to avoid a false negative. As a pp said, there is a 20% error rate which produces false negatives, either because the damage is not yet severe enough or not sufficiently widespread and is missed, or the doctor did not take enough samples, or the pathologist did not read it correctly.

If I were you and your doctor is willing to diagnose based on the blood test results, I think I would skip the biopsy for now (although there is really nothing much to be afraid of with this procedure - it is pretty routine and is done under sedation, not anesthesia). If your symptoms do not resolve on the diet it is a procedure that can always be done at a later stage, as other conditions which might be looked for through the scope do not require you to be eating gluten.

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I agree with Mushroom. A positive tTG IgA is not possible without your immune system reacting to Gluten - while a negative result does not rule out Celiac Disease.

Going gluten-free seems like the best next step if you are certain you don't want an endo. I've gone back in forth about the need for my initial endoscope. Over the past few years I thought maybe it would have been enough to go gluten-free after the positive blood work. I now am grateful that I went ahead with the initial scope and a follow up a year later as the first test confirmed the celiac dx (so never gave a second thought to the need to be 100% gluten-free). The subsequent scope was helpful in putting the rest of my puzzle together as the damage to my digestive track became worse after 13 months of complete adherence to a gluten-free diet -- eventually I found that I was intolerant of many foods.

I likely would have figured this out without the scopes, but it was part of solving the puzzle for me.

Welcome and Good Luck to you!

PS...you do need to be eating gluten up until the endoscopy is complete should you decide to have one.

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Thank you, all. I am not sure which exact blood tests were taken. I will try to get copies tomorrow.

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I just had the endo done 2 weeks ago. It was a breeze! My test came back positive for Celiac disease. Good luck!

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