Dr. Rodney Ford, pediatrician and author of The Gluten Syndrome, provides us with an excellent and easy-to-follow video that tells us how to know if we need a gluten test.
This short presentation explains which symptoms to look for and tells you the tests you need to to request to find out if gluten is making you sick.
Dr. Ford estimates up to one third of people with chronic diseases are being affected by gluten and sums up why people do not ask to be tested. “We are so used to being sick that we don’t know we’re sick.” People think they have always been this way, so they do not know to ask.
He then establishes a great litmus test to determine who should be tested – “People who are sick, tired or grumpy should be tested.”
This video provides an interview with Shannon Ford, winner of the 2011 Mrs. United States pageant. An advocate for the Celiac Disease Foundation, Ford adopted a gluten-free diet after first being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2009.
Ford’s story is similar to many others’ who are now gluten free, and she hopes to broaden the knowledge of Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. Ford has used her celebrity platform to help support causes like gluten-free labeling and fitness.
May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so it seems appropriate to share some medical facts about this autoimmune disease that just might shock you.
These facts come from Dr. Tom O’Bryan who is is a nationally recognized speaker and workshop leader specializing in gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Dr. O’Bryan’s specialty is in teaching the many manifestations of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease as they occur inside and outside of the (more…)
Finding out you have Celiac Disease is a big transition. Often it’s a good one that leads to feeling great, yet initially it’s a lot of information to take in at once to understand what you need to do for your health. Much of it is because we’re been eating one way for 15, 30, 50 or more years and it can be overwhelming to to instantly unlearn everything we’ve done and change overnight. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could take a doctor or dietitian home as a portable reminder of the basics? And so the Celiac Disease Video Project was born.
See below for videos of Dr. John Snyder, Chief of the Department of Gastroenterology at CNMC in DC, Dr. Gary Kaplan, Medical Director of Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine and Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist discussing testing, diagnosis and follow-up, eating a gluten-free diet and a short segment on when it’s not Celiac. Though there are an increasing number of videos out there on people’s stories of diagnosis and ways to make a gluten-free pie, this is the first of its kind to do a run-down of the medical and diet basics by healthcare professionals. The Celiac Sprue Association has been kind enough to support the project. (more…)
Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Often Go Undiagnosed
Judging by their symptoms, people with celiac disease could have food poisoning, depression, or iron deficiency. As a result, doctors often have trouble diagnosing the serious immune disorder. To develop a better test for the disease, researchers have made a device that can detect nanograms of gluten antibodies, the hallmarks of celiac disease, in human (more…)
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, digestive problems can be really detrimental to your well-being. Whatever your symptoms might be, digestive health is vital to the body’s overall well-being.
Make it your new year goal to figure out the cause of your discomfort and to find a solution that works for you. (more…)
This article focuses on the two main antibody blood tests for celiac disease. It will tell you what each test looks for and what the results mean.
The two blood tests recommended when testing for celiac disease are the AGA-IgA test for gliadin (wheat proteins) as well as the tTG-IgA test for tissue transglutaminase.
Recent research indicates the blood tests most doctors are using, tTG & EMA, are not as reliable as first thought. Young children, elderly, smokers, the very ill and the not very ill can be missed. EMA, or endomysial antibodies has fallen out of favor so they will not be discussed.
Preparation for Testing
Make sure when being tested that you are on a gluten-containing diet, because the antibodies the tests look for would disappear if you are were gluten-free. Once you go gluten-free, future testing is unreliable.
The AGA-IgA has fallen out of favor for CELIAC DISEASE, but it tests whether an immune reaction against GLUTEN (gliadin) is present in the system – it detects a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY reaction. You can have gluten sensitivity without developing the lesion that is characteristic of celiac disease. That is, you can have gluten sensitivity without celiac disease.
tTG tests for tissue transglutaminase antibodies, or antibodies against your own tissues. The tTG blood test does NOT tell you if you have celiac disease per se. It tells you the likelihood that villous atrophy will be discovered if an endoscopy with biopsy is performed. The higher the number, the more likely you have enough damage that one of the samples would show villous atrophy.
One thing to consider is that you have over 20 feet of small intestine. Biopsy samples are tiny and only about 5 are taken. How much damage is required before a positive biopsy sample is found?
Also, you can also have the beginning stages of celiac disease and the test results will be “negative” now, but if you were tested at a later date they could rise, making you positive. That is, the levels of antibodies now may not indicate probable intestinal damage enough to be found on endoscopy with biopsy. But they can rise over time – one month, six months, a year.
In one study we reviewed while creating the medical manual, Recognizing Celiac Disease, of the children who tested positive in the study, 40% had tested negative 5 years previously.
No test is 100% accurate. Determining celiac disease is still a judgment call. Even if the tests come back negative, try a strict 100% gluten free diet to see if symptoms improve. If they do, ask your doctor to take multiple vitamin and mineral levels to determine whether deficiencies exist.
Page 30 in Recognizing Celiac Disease lists the vitamins and minerals the NIH recommends checking: vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, folic acid and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous.
The symptom charts in the book list which deficiencies cause which symptoms so you can determine which nutrient levels to test and give your doctor reasons to test for them. (Doctors will not take nutrient levels unless there is a reason to take them.) Correct the nutrient deficiencies and you will correct the symptoms in many cases.
A diagnosis is just a diagnosis. Good health is the most important thing.
Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
President-elect, Celiac Sprue Association (CSA).
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Celiac awareness on the rise, more and more people are getting tested and properly diagnosed. Many people have lived with troubling symptoms for years before getting a doctor to order the correct tests and give a formal diagnosis. Once people receive their diagnosis, they can cut gluten from their lives, allow their bodies to heal and feel better than they have in years.
Current studies predict that 1 out of 100 Americans have celiac, that is over 3 million Americans, and of those, 97% are undiagnosed. The longer an individual goes with undiagnosed celiac, the greater their risk to develop other serious illnesses.
On average, a child will visit 8 pediatricians before being correctly diagnosed with celiac disease.
As a result The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center offers a free blood screening every October. This year, it will be held October 10, 2009. Pre-registration is required, and opens September 1, 2009. Please call 773.702.7593 to register. The free blood screening will take place on the 4th floor of The University of Chicago Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. (more…)