What is the Coeliac Disease Test and How it Works


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Coeliac Disease Test

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The coeliac disease test is designed to measure your immune system’s response to gluten consumption. Gluten consumption irritates the gastrointestinal tract of coeliac patients, causing a variety of symptoms.

The coeliac disease test is based on the detection of coeliac-specific antibodies in your blood, including IgA-tTG and IgA-EMA. The coeliac disease test can be used as both a screening and diagnostic tool for coeliac disease.

Coeliac Disease Test Process

A piece of cake covered in fruit

Prior to having your coeliac disease test, you should speak with your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you may be taking. These medications may show up on coeliac tests and skew your results. You should notify your doctor if:

You have been diagnosed with coeliac disease before (excluding post-treatment)

You are on ANY medication, prescription or non-prescription

You are pregnant

Your coeliac disease test will be performed in your doctor’s office. A coeliac disease test requires only a small blood sample that is collected via finger stick or venipuncture. You can expect to receive coeliac disease test results within 72 hours (although it may take up to two weeks).

Coeliac Disease Test Results

When coeliac-specific antibodies are present in your coeliac disease test, you have coeliac disease. If coeliac-specific antibodies are not present, the lab results should specify whether this means that you do not have coeliac disease (negative result) or that coeliac disease is ruled out (inconclusive result).

Proof of coeliac disease is established by coeliac-specific antibodies, which are only present in coeliac patients.

If coeliac-specific antibodies are present, the coeliac disease has been proven. If coeliac-specific antibodies are not present, coeliac disease either has not been diagnosed yet or is ruled out as a possibility. An inconclusive coeliac test can be caused by medication usage and pregnancy. An inconclusive result means that the lab cannot prove that coeliac disease exists with this level of accuracy (thus ‘inconclusive’). This type of result indicates that further testing may be warranted to confirm or deny coeliac disease as an accurate diagnosis.

In most cases of confirmed coeliac disease, coeliac patients will have coeliac-specific antibodies, including IgA-tTG and IgA-EMA. In coeliac disease, coeliac-specific antibodies are the first to appear in response to gluten consumption, typically within weeks of gluten exposure.

In some cases of coeliac disease where coeliac-specific antibodies are not present (typically a more advanced form), coeliac disease can still be diagnosed by a positive result for coeliac-specific human leukocyte antigen HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8 molecules. If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease already, your doctor may take a sample from your small intestine during surgery or endoscopy. Under these conditions, coeliac disease is diagnosed based on coeliac-specific histology.

Coeliac Disease Test Information Summary

The coeliac disease test is designed to measure your coeliac patient’s immune system response to gluten consumption. Gluten consumption irritates the gastrointestinal tract of coeliac patients and causes a variety of symptoms. The coeliac test measures coeliac-specific antibodies, including IgA-tTG and IgA-EMA. A coeliac test requires only a small blood sample that is collected via finger stick or venipuncture. You can expect to receive coeliac test results within 72 hours (although it may take up to two weeks).

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