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The Celiac Section

All About Celiac Disease and Celiac Testing

Get screened!

If you have a close relative who has been diagnosed with celiac disease or suspect that you may have it, with symptoms that are persistent and uncomfortable no matter what measures you take to alleviate them, get screened immediately.

Testing is done in two stages, the first being a simple blood test that rules out classic allergies by identifying antibodies linked to the celiac disease. The blood screening is called tissue transglutaminase (TTG) amd endomysial antibody (EMA) – both a mouthful to say but still not 100 per cent accurate.

Indeed, the only way to know for certain if you have celiac disease is to undergo a biopsy of your small intestine, which should be done by a gastroenterologist in a hospital outpatient setting.

There is another initial testing option available to Canadians now – one that can be done in your own home. Called the Celiacsure Celiac Test, it measures the presence in your blood of antibodies that indicate you are having an immune response to gluten. The Canadian Celiac Association calls the CeliacSure test, which costs $50 at Canadian drugstores and is being considered for approval in the U.S., a useful first step in determining if a doctor’s appointment for a full screening is needed.

But that’s all it is. Remember to continue eating gluten until a physician has diagnosed celiac disease through an intestinal biopsy. If you stop, the findings could be affected.

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