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Celiac Disease Antibodies Test

Test Overview

Celiac disease is a problem that happens when gluten in food causes your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine.

As part of this mistaken attack, your immune system creates certain proteins called antibodies. If your doctor thinks you may have celiac disease, he or she will order a simple blood test that looks for these antibodies.

Why It Is Done

A celiac disease antibodies test is done to:

  • Help diagnose celiac disease.
  • Check how well a gluten-free diet is working as a treatment for celiac disease.
  • Look for celiac disease in people who don't have symptoms but who do have close family members with the disease.

How To Prepare

If the test is being used to help diagnose your symptoms, it must be done while you are still eating foods that contain gluten. So if you have started a gluten-free diet, your doctor will have you go back to eating gluten foods several weeks ahead of the test.

You won't have to do anything else to prepare for the test.

How It Is Done

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

Watch

How It Feels

When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.

Risks

There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.

Results

There are several types of celiac disease antibodies that can be measured. The most common are:

  • Tissue transglutaminase antibodies, or anti-tTG.
  • Deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies, or anti-DGP.
  • Anti-endomysial antibodies, or anti-EMA.
Results for celiac disease antibody testing

Negative (normal)

Celiac disease antibodies are not found in your blood. It's not likely that you have the disease.

Positive (abnormal)

Celiac disease antibodies are found. It's likely that you have the disease.

Credits

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

 

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