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Celiac diagnosis & the need for biopsy with no/minimal symptoms

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver, WA USA
Posts: 1
ashworth102680 HB User
Question Celiac diagnosis & the need for biopsy with no/minimal symptoms

I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease through a blood test. I've researched on my own and been told that the blood test markers for these particular antibodies are very specific to Celiac disease and not often a false positive.

Also, I realize that the endoscopy + biopsy are considered the "gold standard", however, it is my understanding that this biopsy merely confirms "damage" to the vili, rather than confirms whether or not I have the disease. So given that, I have no idea what in the wold "gold standard" is supposed to mean.

That said, I'm wondering if I even need the endoscopy and biopsy at all. It's rather expensive with my current insurance deductible, and if it's not going to confirm anything I don't already know, then I feel like it may be a waste of time and money. I have absolutely no symptoms, so it would seem logical that I simply bypass the biopsy and go straight to my lifelong, gluten-free diet.

It's my thinking that regardless of the outcome of the biopsy, the gluten-free diet is needed, since I've been told by two physicians that I have Celiac disease. A GI doctor told me yesterday that I'll need to go on the diet anyways whether I have the biopsy or not, so I don't see how the biopsy confirms anything. Maybe the lack of symptoms means my vili are fine...and if they aren't, they'll heal anyways after a few years of being on my new diet.

My Celiac extended blood panel results:

I had another, separate blood test yesterday to assess anemia, and all levels tested (not shown here) were normal, so I believe I'm good there.

My wife has been contesting everything I've heard from doctors so far (denial?...not sure), and I'm looking for clarification to these specific questions so that I may show her something in writing, rather than what I'm trying to convey verbally from a physician.

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Old 04-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: U.S.
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sjogrens HB User
Re: Celiac diagnosis & the need for biopsy with no/minimal symptoms

My daughter recently tested positive for celiac disease but does have symptoms. We have decided not to pursue a biopsy because I think it's invasive and unnecessary - especially for a young child. So for us, we just started the gluten free diet after the blood work and are not bothering with a biopsy to confirm something we already know. It would make about as much sense as me undergoing a lip biopsy to confirm I have Sjogren's disease when I have all the classic blood markers for it and have already received a diagnosis and am receiving treatment!

I think some people want to know the extent of the damage though, so if my blood work comes back positive, I'm not sure if I'll go through with the endoscopy or not since I've been symptomatic for years (but didn't know anything about celiac disease).

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biopsy, celiac, disease, endoscopy

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