Gluten

How To Test And Diagnose

Published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 22:06

Food Diary: If you think you have a gluten intolerance track your diet and symptoms. Keep a diary of the foods you are eating and what signs and symptoms you are experiencing after eating those foods. 

Elimination Diet: Remove all food that contains gluten from your diet for 2-3 weeks.  After 2-3 weeks gradually reintroduce those foods into your diet and see how your body reacts. You can use www.foodfacts.com as a guide for foods that will contain gluten. There are many hidden sources of gluten so be extra careful when reading food labels. If your symptoms are relieved during the time the food is eliminated, you may be allergic to that food. See your doctor for proper diagnosis. Note: If you decide to get a blood test to determine if you have a gluten intolerance, be sure to keep gluten in your diet in order for results to be accurate. Removing it before the test may give a negative result.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis:
Often people with celiac disease experience a skin reaction called Dermatitis herpetiformis, (DH).  DH is a severely itchy blistering red rash on the elbows, knees and/or buttocks. A skin biopsy and blood test can test for antibodies of DH.  Antibiotics can be used to control the rash, but a gluten-free diet should still be followed.

Blood Test:
A blood test will be used to test for high levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA),  anti-gliadin (AMA), or anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA).  When a person has celiac disease, there are proteins that react against his or her own cells and tissues. These proteins are called auto-antibodies and are higher than normal in a person with celiac disease. If you have decided to get this test done be sure to keep gluten in your diet in order for test results to be accurate. Removing it before the test may give a negative result.

Intestinal Biopsy:
A biopsy is performed by placing a tube called an endoscope in the patient’s mouth and through to the intestines. Tools remove a tissue sample through the endoscope. The removed tissue from the small intestine is then examined to see if the villi are damaged.