Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine.
The disease is triggered by eating foods that contain gluten. If you are diagnosed with coeliac disease following a blood test or an intestinal biopsy/endoscopy, the treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet.
Your doctor may also suggest repeating the blood test or endoscopy after you have been on a gluten-free diet for some time in order to assess your adherence to the gluten-free diet. Let’s talk about how to implement the treatment for celiac disease as well as how celiac disease is diagnosed.
What is the treatment for celiac disease?
The treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet that you will need to follow for life to repair the small intestine and to avoid the negative side effects and symptoms of celiac disease moving forward.
Once you have eliminated gluten from your diet, it may take several weeks to several months for the small intestine to fully heal.
In the early stages of your celiac disease diagnosis, it is recommended that you use celiac blood tests to mark your progress as you eliminate gluten from the diet.
If the celiac blood test result is normal 6-12 months after you eliminate gluten from the diet, it shows that following a gluten-free diet is successfully repairing the immune system over time.
It’s essential to have regular follow up consultations with your physician to ensure that you are receiving the necessary care to keep you on the path to good health.
If you are worried that you may have celiac disease, why not take a home celiac disease blood test? If for any reason, you can’t make it to your physician's office, you can rest assured that the LetsGetChecked home celiac disease tests will offer the same accuracy as you would find in a clinic, with on-going support at every step of the way.
How is celiac disease diagnosed?
Celiac disease is diagnosed through blood tests that measure the volume of antibodies and/or enzymes in the blood in response to the consumption of gluten.
Many people that are diagnosed with celiac disease don’t know they have it. If you think you might have celiac disease it is important that you follow a gluten-containing diet before and during testing. If you eliminate gluten before testing, it is possible that this will skew your results.
The most common type of tests for celiac disease include:
Serology Testing: measures the level of antibodies in the blood, the LetsGetChecked celiac blood test measures tTg (Tissue Transglutiminase) which is an enzyme, as well as EMA (Endomysial Antibodies) which is an antibody.
Genetic Testing: measures human leukocyte antigens (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) in the blood that may be used to rule out celiac disease.
If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, your doctor will likely suggest that you have an endoscopy (a small camera is passed through your mouth and throat into your stomach and intestine) to view, and take a tissue biopsy to assess the damage that has already been caused to the villi that line the small intestine.
Celiac disease is a common chronic condition that can affect you as an adult or a child. Many people report no symptoms prior to diagnosis, and others report symptoms unrelated to the digestive system (anemia, loss of bone density, an itchy rash, mouth ulcers, headaches or joint pain).
Do you suspect that you have celiac disease? Learn more about our home celiac disease tests.
Written by Hannah Kingston | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Dominic Rowley