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Ask the Doc: How do I get tested for Celiac Disease?

Q. I have some of the symptoms that are related to Celiac Disease. How do I find out if I have it or not?

A. Ask your gastroenterologist or internist to contact Prometheus Labs in San Diego, and arrange for them to run a panel called “CELIA PLUS”. This will test for all of the antibodies to gluten and your own intestine, and, if negative, the lab will automatically test for the genes associated with Celiac Disease. If any of these tests are positive, then obtain an intestinal biopsy from your gastroenterologist, and make sure that the pathologist reading the biopsy can stain for CD3 cells, and count the number of these cells per 100 epithelial cells. Most authorities feel that more than 20CD3/100epith cells is abnormal. These findings occur long before blunting of the intestinal villi develops, which is what a less-experienced pathologist would be looking for on a biopsy. So if blunting of the villi are required to make a positive diagnosis, many celiacs will be missed.
Health and happiness,
Dr. Aron

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