What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity occurs when an individual’s body cannot tolerate gluten. These people often experience symptoms similar to those with celiac disease. In fact, Gluten sensitivity shares many symptoms with Celiac Disease. However, individuals with Gluten sensitivity usually have far less serious symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, strong odorous feces. Other symptoms may include non-gastrointestinal symptoms, such as brain fog, headache, joint pain, and numbness in the legs, arms or fingers. Symptoms typically appear hours or days after gluten intake.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes a serious allergic reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Eating gluten makes your immune system attack the lining of the small intestine, as if it were a harmful substance. This can damage your digestive system and prevent your body from absorbing the nutrients you need. If left untreated, Celiac Disease can cause malnutrition, loss of calcium and bone density, infertility and miscarriage, lactose intolerance, cancer, and neurological problems.
What is the Gluten Sensitivity + Celiac Disease Screening Test used for?
The screening test for both Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease involves a simple blood test that identifies certain antibodies (disease-fighting proteins). Elevated levels of these antibodies indicate an immune reaction to gluten. The sample collection can be conveniently performed at home. Here are a list of functions found in myLAB Box’s screening test:
- Help predict the probability of both Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease
- Monitor the progression of Celiac Disease
- See if a gluten-free diet is relieving the symptoms of celiac disease
- See if a gluten-free diet and reintroduction of gluten confirms the likelihood of Gluten Sensitivity
Included: 1 mail-in finger-stick blood kit to test for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity
Who should test for Gluten Sensitivity + Celiac Disease?
This screening test may be useful if you have symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Bloating – most common complaint
- Diarrhea, Constipation and Smelly Feces
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling tired
- Skin problems – blistering, redness, inflammation of the skin, baldness, and prolonged itchiness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Iron-Deficiency Anemia – fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, pale skin and weakness
- Autoimmune disorders – thyroid disorders, Type 1 Diabetes, liver diseases and inflammatory bowel disease
- Joint and Muscle Pain
- Leg or Arm numbness
- Brain Fog – feeling of unable to think clearly
This screening test may be useful if you have symptoms of Celiac Disease.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating and gas
- Itchy rash (Dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Mouth sores
- Bone loss
- Missed menstrual periods
- Tingling in the hands and/or feet
If you are not experiencing symptoms,this test may be useful if you are at a higher risk of having the disease. For example, if you have a close family member with Celiac Disease, and/or if you have another autoimmune disorder, such as Type 1 Diabetes.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
If the test is being used to help predict the probability of Gluten Sensitivity, you’ll need to continue to eat foods with gluten for a few weeks before testing. However, it is recommended that you work with your healthcare provider before introducing gluten into your diet, as it can be harmful if you do have Celiac Disease. If the test is being used to monitor Celiac disease, you don’t need any special preparations.
What do the results mean?
There are different types of gluten antibodies. Your Gluten Sensitivity + Celiac Disease test results include information on more than one type of antibody.
- High Risk for Gluten Sensitivity: it is recommended that you see your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will likely work with a dietician to help you remove gluten from your diet. Then after a few weeks, you will reintroduce gluten and assess your symptoms. If you feel better after gluten has been removed, and then worse when reintroduced, it is likely that you have Gluten sensitivity.
- High Risk for Celiac Disease: it is recommended that you see your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will likely order a test called an intestinal biopsy to confirm or rule out Celiac Disease. During an intestinal biopsy, the doctor will use a special tool called an endoscope to look at and take a small piece of tissue from your small intestine.
- Increased or Moderate Risks for either Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease: it is recommended that you see your healthcare provider who may request further testing to rule out either disease.
- Low Risk for either Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease: your healthcare provider may perform further testing if you are experiencing symptoms.