Testing for Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Disease
The proper gluten test tools must be used to accurately assess gluten sensitivity, whether in children or in adults. This is where a lot of people and doctors get confused.
Traditionally lab testing is only designed to diagnose celiac disease. Remember that gluten sensitivity is not a disease, but it contributes to the development of disease. Celiac disease is only one medical condition caused by gluten. Many people have other diseases caused by gluten sensitivity. If your doctor uses a gluten test to diagnose celiac disease on you and it comes back negative, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have gluten sensitivity. The intestinal biopsy and serum blood tests are examples of inaccurate medical tests for gluten sensitivity. A genetic sensitivity to gluten test offers the greatest degree of accuracy and when combined with a patient’s history and examination, identifying the need to go gluten free can be determined early and accurately. Gluten-Free Society offers genetic testing and educational services about gluten such as how common gluten intolerance is.
Gluten-Free Diet is Not a Trend
Because going on a gluten-free diet takes a great deal of education and commitment, it is recommended that proper gluten sensitivity testing be performed to identify whether the diet is right for you. Remember going gluten-free is not a trendy diet; it is a permanent lifestyle that should be taken very seriously as even small amounts of gluten exposure can cause problems. To accurately diagnose gluten sensitivity, the right gluten test must be used.
Genetic testing is the gold standard for evaluating gluten sensitivity. Unfortunately, many doctors still use antiquated and inaccurate gluten sensitivity tests. Examples of these include:
- Anti-gliadin antibodies – this is a blood test that measures for antibodies to one of the types of gluten found in wheat. It is not very comprehensive and often times gives false-negative results.
- Anti-tissue transglutaminase – this test is only specific for celiac disease and also has a tendency to come back falsely negative.
- Intestinal Biopsy – this test is also only specific for celiac disease and comes back with a lot of false negatives.
Genetic testing is available here.
Am I Gluten Intolerant?
Some people feel so much better after going gluten-free, that they forgo any gluten test and just stick to the diet. Some people need a black and white answer – Am I gluten sensitive or not? Without a solid answer from a gluten test, they have trouble justifying the diet and usually cheat on a frequent basis.
The problem with cheating is that gluten can cause damage to the body in very small amounts (20 ppm). The best way to get this black and white answer is to have genetic testing for gluten intolerance performed. If you cannot afford to have genetic gluten sensitivity testing performed, take our quick at-home self-test below that you can use to help determine whether or not you are gluten sensitive with our symptoms checklist.
Take The Online Quiz