Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to suspect celiac disease. Tests may be done to confirm the disease or rule out other health problems, such as an infection or food allergy.

Finding the disease early can lead to early treatment. This can slow or stop damage. Tests for celiac disease are:

Blood Tests

A blood test will be done to look for gluten antibodies. This is a sign that the body is reacting to gluten. This can confirm the diagnosis.

Celiac disease often runs in families. Genetic testing may be done to rule out the disease as a cause.

Biopsy

An upper GI endoscopy uses a scope that is passed down the throat. It lets the doctor look at the inside of the intestine.

Tools can also be passed through the scope to do a biopsy. A sample of the intestine will be removed and checked in a lab. This will show any damage and help confirm the diagnosis.

Endoscopy

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References:

Caio G, Volta U, et al. Celiac disease: a comprehensive current review. BMC Med. 2019 Jul 23;17(1):142.
Celiac disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/celiac-disease. Accessed January 4, 2021.
Celiac disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Accessed January 4, 2021.
Diagnosis of celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/diagnosis. Accessed January 5, 2021.
What is celiac disease? Celiac Disease Foundation website. Available at: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease. Accessed January 4, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 1/4/2021

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