If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from celiac disease, it’s important to seek the guidance and advice from your family doctor. Celiac disease is a dangerous and potentially life threatening condition that should be treated as quickly as possible. In this article we’ll discuss a few of the likely methods that may be used to diagnose celiac disease.
Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Adults
The most likely celiac disease diagnosis test that your doctor will perform is a blood test. A celiac disease diagnosis blood test will be able to determine if you’re having an adverse reaction to gluten. Most of the available blood tests will measure antibody levels. Keep in mind that for these tests to be accurate you must have been consuming gluten on a daily basis for at least six weeks. So don’t begin a gluten free diet before getting tested as it will impact the results of the test.
If the blood test does not give enough information for a conclusive celiac disease diagnosis, your doctor may request an intestinal biopsy. The biopsy will be able to determine whether or not your intestines are being damaged by a reaction to gluten.
Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Children
Testing for children is much the same as it is for adults. The only difference is that most doctors do not request an intestinal biopsy unless there is no other way of obtaining a diagnosis. The doctor may request a stool sample to test for nutritional malabsorption and tests for vitamin B, D and E as well.
Celiac Disease Treatment
The only effective treatment known is to follow a strict gluten free diet. Gluten is found in certain cereal grains – wheat, rye and barley. It is also found in oats (except gluten free oats) because oats are typically processed along with gluten containing grains. In order to eat gluten free it is necessary to remove all foods that contain gluten from the diet. In general this will include breads, pastas, cereals, cookies, cakes and other foods with gluten. However, there are gluten free substitutes of all of these products available. Made with gluten free flours like teff flour, sorghum flour, rice flour and tapioca flour, gluten free baked goods are also delicious.
Symptoms will not disappear immediately after adopting a gluten free diet. It typically takes up to 6 months of eating gluten free for symptoms to diminish. It takes the body time to recover and symptoms will slowly ease over a period of months.
See your doctor right away if you’re concerned about celiac disease. He or she will be able to provide you with a celiac disease diagnosis – possibly with just a blood test. Once you know for sure you will be able to begin a treatment plan and be on your way to better health.