Celiac Disease Testing and Diagnosis

Before you go and do testing for Celiac, you have to diagnose the situation and your symptoms to decide if testing is justified. We say this because testing for Celiac disease is a process you don’t want to do for no good reason.

In summary, it involves a few blood tests and a biopsies of your small intestine which is not something you want to do everyday.

Before we test, we diagnose, let’s learn more about the diagnoses process of Celiac disease

Diagnoses of Celiac

The first part of diagnosing Celiac begins with just questions that the doctor will ask. The thing about Celiac is that it’s very difficult to diagnose without testing, but a series of questions can lead us to the right direction.

Celiac symptoms are so broad, that it’s not rare to confuse some of them with other issues. This is why it is important to do all the testing after we decided it is necessary.

The questions will usually include stuff like:

  • Is anyone in your family diagnosed with Celiac?
  • Do you see a bloated belly usually after you eat?
  • Are you tired, did you suffer from anemia?
  • A few more questions about your medical history and more

After a series of questions it is most likely the doctor will start a short physical exam to look for tell signs, some of the things the doctor will look for are:

Check for signs of weight loss or growth rate slowness Look for signs for skin rashes
Use a statoscope to listen to your abdomenTap his fingers on your belly to check for pain and swelling

NOTE – Some patients reported that it was their dentist that noticed issues with the teeth that are common with Celiac disease like issues with teeth enamel and more.

Type of tests for Celiac disease

Once we go through the diagnoses and the doctor decides it’s time for testing, we will usually start with a blood test and a biopsies that will follow. The biopsies will be of the small intestine and it is done to rule out or confirm Celiac disease.

NOTE – Doctors usually do not recommend stopping eating gluten before the testing is complete as avoiding gluten for some time might affect the test results.

The blood test

The doc will take some blood from you and send it to the lab for testing, what they check is a certain antibodies and their levels. People who suffer from Celiac usually have much higher levels of tTG and IgA. The blood test will also show any other related conditions to Celiac like anemia.

The biopsies of the small intestine

This is an introsive exam and it works by a doctor that will perform an upper GI endoscopy. It will insert an endoscope through your mouth usually all the way to your upper GI tract and the opening of the small intestine.

A doctor obtains biopsies of the small intestine during an upper GI endoscopy. For an upper GI endoscopy, a doctor uses an endoscope—a flexible tube with a camera—to see the lining of your upper GI tract, including the first part of your small intestine. The doctor passes an instrument through the endoscope to take small pieces of tissue from your small intestine. A pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope to look for signs of celiac disease.