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Old 01-26-2010, 03:06 PM   #1
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Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

My doctor just called with my blood test results. She said I have Celiac Disease based on the blood test result. My niece has it and my sister said that they need to do a biopsy to confirm it. She insists that you can't be diagnosed from just a blood test. Can anyone give me advice? I really don't want to follow a gluten free diet if it isn't for sure.

Has anyone had a positive blood test and a biopsy was negative?

 
Old 01-26-2010, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

I have celiacs and had a positive blood test and a positive endoscopy. An endoscopy isn't real fun but it is absolute proof. If you do get one be sure to keep eating gluten so they can see how it affects the intestines. If you go off gluten now and get a endoscopy it may come out negative for celiacs because your intestines will have started to heal. I don't know if you can have a positive blood test and a negative endoscopy. Do you have symptoms of celiac like the stomach aches and have gone off gluten and got better? I just sent away a test from Enterolab to have my son checked for celiacs because he gets alot of stomach aches and muscle aches. It's a stool test and saliva test which checks for the genes for celiacs, active celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and milk allergy. It's supposed to be a better test than the blood test. Maybe try the stool test and if that comes out positive to then you know the blood test was right. The thing about celiacs is that an endoscopy is good to check for esophogus and intestinal cancer because you can get that with celiacs even though it is rare.

Beth

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

From the National Institute for Health:

"Intestinal biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing celiac disease, but serologic tests provide an effective first step in identifying biopsy candidates. In addition, genetic tests that confirm the presence or absence of specific genes associated with celiac disease may be useful in some circumstances. However, serologic and genetic tests are adjuncts to, not replacements for, biopsies. If serologic or genetic tests indicate the possibility of celiac disease, a biopsy should be done promptly and before initiating any change in the patient’s diet." http://www.celiac.nih.gov/

Make sure whoever does your endoscopy knows Celiac and does at least 6 to 15 different biopsy sites in the lower small intestine. The damage caused by Celiac is patchy, and often not found at all in the upper part of the small intestine. It's almost impossible to find with two or three tiny biopsy sites, which many regular gastro's still perform. False-negative celiac biopsies are almost always due to doctor error or inexperience.

PS - keep in mind that while the national average for Celiac disease is about 1 in 100, if you have a first degree relative with Celiac your odds of having it are 1 in 20.

Last edited by AuntieLeela; 01-28-2010 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Add post script

 
Old 01-29-2010, 03:49 AM   #4
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntieLeela View Post
From the National Institute for Health:

"Intestinal biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing celiac disease, but serologic tests provide an effective first step in identifying biopsy candidates. In addition, genetic tests that confirm the presence or absence of specific genes associated with celiac disease may be useful in some circumstances. However, serologic and genetic tests are adjuncts to, not replacements for, biopsies. If serologic or genetic tests indicate the possibility of celiac disease, a biopsy should be done promptly and before initiating any change in the patientís diet." http://www.celiac.nih.gov/

Make sure whoever does your endoscopy knows Celiac and does at least 6 to 15 different biopsy sites in the lower small intestine. The damage caused by Celiac is patchy, and often not found at all in the upper part of the small intestine. It's almost impossible to find with two or three tiny biopsy sites, which many regular gastro's still perform. False-negative celiac biopsies are almost always due to doctor error or inexperience.

PS - keep in mind that while the national average for Celiac disease is about 1 in 100, if you have a first degree relative with Celiac your odds of having it are 1 in 20.
Thank you, I actually picked up my bloodwork from the doctor's office yesterday and am sending it to my old doctor. I switched back to him. The new doctor flat out refused to send me to a gastro doctor. I looked at the blood test and it said that it was a weak positive. That frustrated me even more that she was willing to diagnose me with not only just a blood test, but one that was questionable.

 
Old 01-29-2010, 11:15 PM   #5
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

I am a lab techonologist and can tell you that with celiac's disease the blood tests and biopsy's change based on how much gluten is in your diet. The gluten causes a reaction so the more gluten in your diet, the stronger the reaction, the less the weaker the reaction. All possible celiac's patients should be seen by a gastoenterologist, there is a high risk of lyphoma with celiac's disease and it damages the intestines.

 
Old 01-30-2010, 05:42 AM   #6
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seantal View Post
I am a lab techonologist and can tell you that with celiac's disease the blood tests and biopsy's change based on how much gluten is in your diet. The gluten causes a reaction so the more gluten in your diet, the stronger the reaction, the less the weaker the reaction. All possible celiac's patients should be seen by a gastoenterologist, there is a high risk of lyphoma with celiac's disease and it damages the intestines.
Thank you, I have been told on other boards that going to a gastro might be a bad idea because biopsies are sometimes negative when you really have it. I can try the diet to see if it helps even if the gastro doctor says it is negative. My concern is, like you said, damage. I am very sick now and I have some new symptoms that are worrying me a bit. The sides of my neck hurt and I am short of breath on occassion, never a problem in the past. Thanks again for the reply.

 
Old 01-31-2010, 08:25 AM   #7
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

Celiac can be diagnoised by blood test. Mine was negative because I have a low IgA level....... if you have not been eating gluten or have a low IgA level like me it can be deceiving and show a false negative.......


I was diagnoised by small intestine biopsy. Oleander

 
Old 02-10-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

My husband actually has dermatitis herpatiformis, not what I would call "classic" celiac's disease. I have seen it described as celiac's disease and more recently read it being described as an allergy to gluten (which I was pretty sure WAS celiac's). He is negative for TTG and has therefore not been sent to see a gastro BUT we do know that if he cuts out gluten from his diet the rash magically disappears within 2 weeks time and only reappears after he again starts eating gluten (which is not immediate, the rash only reappears after about a week or two of eating bread daily). Now he may have some other type of allergy that is food related but bread is the only thing we cut from his diet when the rash gets to be too much.


I am hoping he gets fed up and asks for a referall to a dermatologist for it or to a gastro for further testing. It is hard for him to cut gluten from the diet, its hard to get good bread etc. that he will actually eat.

Good luck with adjusting your diet and hope your symptoms abate once on the diet.


Chantal

 
Old 02-10-2010, 05:49 PM   #9
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

Jeffiner17- What no one has said here is that by going on a gluten free diet you are guaranteed a complete reversal and recovery of any damage that was done due to Celiac if caught early. I do NOT have Celiac but do have it's cousin, Dermatitis Herpetiformus which in everyday terms is an intollerence to Gluten which causes a break out of blisters on a person's elbows, knees, and neck, equally on both sides of the body. I've had it most of my life but didn't know it until the mid-80's. I take a sulfa-type drug once a day called Dapsone. It keeps it at bay but the other symptoms didn't leave (like bloating and gas) until I quit gluten! Hard at first but once you learn to "eat around" wheat and other gluten filled foods, it's not that hard. I had an endoscopy done to make sure that it didn't go to Celiac and it didn't thankfully. You need to have the endoscopy done and go from there. Honestly-other than missing the flour tortillas and hamburger buns, it's no big deal to give it up. Just seems like it at first. Rice is great and there are plenty of rice pastas and breads/crackers to get you through. UP SIDE-you feel so much better and look better too! Good Luck! Harcle12

 
Old 02-10-2010, 05:54 PM   #10
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

Seantal-see my post above--tell your husband to ask his doctor (should see a dermotologist) about Dapsone for control of the rash. Really helps control it. I've taken it once a day for the last 24 years. No problems from it though they have to watch your red blood count in the beginning. Like not eating gluten magically makes the rash go away, so does this inexpensive drug. That said, a good number of people that have dermatitis herpatiformis end up getting Celiac disease so it's best to quit the gluten completely--ask me--24 years is a long time and since I've been off of gulten completely, I probably don't need the pill anymore--humm--should quit I guess. Harcle12

 
Old 02-11-2010, 05:45 AM   #11
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

I have been gluten free for 6 months. I am fortunate where I was one to feel immediately well when I eliminated gluten. But I will tell you now when I do eat even the smallest amount of gluten I get really really ill.......I mean I am exhausted, diarrhea severe, nausea, depression and my skin hurts if touched. I mean am sick for a week or more. I react more strongly now if I get any gluten at all.......I also have some neurological symptoms now that I did not have before. I realize now more than ever this is serious and it is more than the inconvenience of not being able to eat the foods I used to love.
So happy we have this board to chat on. It has been my life line for over 3 years now.

Oleander

 
Old 03-13-2010, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

Thanks everyone. I am actually having the biopsy done on Thursday. I have had the symptoms for about ten years now. I never realized that the horrible rash on the tops of my feet were a symptom. I quit the gluten for two weeks after the blood test results and was told by the gastro doctor to start eating gluten again so the test would be correct. I have been VERY sick so I can't wait to get this over with.

I am concerned about cancer and other damage that may have occured. I started vomiting again after going back on the gluten and it typically contains blood. I hope all it takes is a change of diet to fix me up.

Last edited by jeffiner71; 03-13-2010 at 12:06 PM.

 
Old 03-13-2010, 08:01 PM   #13
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

you can be diagonised with a blood test but it needs to be conifrmed with a biopsy.

 
Old 07-20-2010, 08:12 AM   #14
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

I just saw the posts about my husband's condition. He still hasn't gone in to the doctor yet about the dermatitis but I can tell you from experimentation (or non-compliance with being gluten free) that the rash has been returning more quickly and much more wide spread than it ever was before. It used to only be on his torso (stomach, middle back, either side) it is now pretty much EVERYWHERE!, it has come back on his calves, arms (especially underarms), more widespread on his back and stomach, on his back it has moved to his lower back. It is as if re-introducing the gluten to his diet causes his symptoms to be much more severe. It used to take about 2 weeks after re-introducing gluten for his rash to return, it is now down to a reaction within a few hours (he starts to burn where the rash is going to appear). Normally the rash isn't all that noticeable but this past weekend (with it being summer) EVERYONE noticed and kept asking him what the heck he had been into. I keep hoping he will get fed up and make a doctor's appointment, request a referral to a dermatologist and a GI specialist.

To make his case even more difficult (with his TTG being negative, and no his IgA levels were not checked), his HLA typing does not match the profile (I am an HLA typing technologist and we "learn" to do typings on ourselves and family if they are willing guinea pigs!). He just needs to learn to advocate more for his care (his TTG testing was done after I mentioned to our doctor that the rash disappears when he stops eating bread and pasta).

I am going to get on his case again (even if he can get the Dapsone from the doctor to control the rash, maybe if the drug works she will beleive that he DOES have a form of celiac's disease and refer him from there!

Seantal

 
Old 11-30-2010, 10:34 AM   #15
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Re: Can Celiac Disease be diagnosed with just a blood test?

As I understand the blood test would have "markers" that would indicate if further testing is necessary to confirm or deny celiacs. No markers, no weak indication of celiacs should be enough proof to not test further. However, many people choose to go gluten free because its healthier, just as lactose free is. I would recommend supplementing with digestive enzymes and probiotics and consider a whole body cleanse to remove toxins from your system. One clean and enzymes and probiotics are on board your system should function better.

 
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