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Celiac Disease Antibody Screening

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Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten, which is found in many grains, including wheat, barley and rye. Digestion of these foods triggers an immune reaction in which the body produces antibodies meant to attack gluten, but end up attacking and causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine. This, in turn, causes malabsorption of nutrients, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If left undiagnosed, the malabsorption may damage the brain, bones, liver, peripheral nervous system and more.

This screening is the most sensitive test available for celiac disease.  The Celiac Disease Antibody Screening checks for the presence of antibodies specific to celiac disease. These antibodies include anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies and endomysial antibodies, which attack the bodys own tissues, as well as antigliadin antibodies, which fight gliadin in the diet. Ninety-five percent of individuals with celiac-specific antibodies (anti-tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibodies) present in their blood are later diagnosed with celiac disease. The next step is to have a small intestine biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

People who should consider the test include those who have mostbut not necessarily allof these symptoms: chronic diarrhea, weight loss, excess gas, abdominal distension, bloating, unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, skin rashes and painful mouth sores. Children who are not growing as expected and who have a first- or second-degree relative who has been previously diagnosed with celiac disease.

Note: Test results may be skewed or inconclusive if you have already gone on a gluten-free diet. Gluten must be digested before the test for the body to produce the celiac-specific antibodies.