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Ask the Doc: Are celiac blood tests accurate?

Posted on June 25th, 2007 by Alison Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

questionmarkgreen1.jpgQ. How accurate are the blood tests for celiac disease?

A. The commonly used antibody tests (IgA anti-gliadin and anti-tissue trans glutaminase) can diagnose aobut 85-90% of those with celiac disease. A total IgA (immunoglobulin A) level must be done, because 10% of celiacs are deficient in this immunoglobulin, and these antibodies may be falsely low in this setting. On occasion, even those with biopsy-proven disease may test negative, so it is recommended that genetic testing for HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes be done. Either one or both are positive in 95-98% of celiacs, but are also present in about 25-30% of the population at large, so an intestinal biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis.
Health and happiness,
Dr. Aron

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  1. I had been sick several years, bloating, not feeling well, IBS, leg pain, becoming very latharget, thyroid problem, ostheopinia. My gasterologist just said I didn’t eat enough fiber. Not true, I am very tuned into what my body does and how it reacts. I have learned a lot over the years. I had a friend and her boy has celiac and she suggested I go to his doctor. I went and she did the blood tests and it showed negative but didn’t do the biopsy and at that time I didn’t know enough to ask for it. She suggested I go gluten free, what would it hurt if I felt better, she said. I will tell you that it was a miracle. I have been gluten free for 6 years. If I eat gluten I am sick for 2 to 3 days afterwards. I definately react. My question is, since I didn’t have the biopsy, in your best quess, would you say we are accurate in saying I have celiac?

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