This post discusses how you can self-screen for celiac disease using an at-home celiac test, as well as which at-home celiac disease test is most reliable. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Celiac disease is one of the most underdiagnosed diseases in the world. It affects one percent of the population, yet 97 percent of people with the disorder don’t know they have it according to the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly launches an attack on the healthy tissue surrounding the lining of the small intestine everytime someone eats gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and derivatives of these grains.
New research in 2021 suggests that the rate of celiac disease is much higher, and makes the case for screening children for the disorder. In fact, researchers in Italy screened 7,760 children (ages 5-11) for celiac disease and found the prevalence of the disease to be 1.6 percent. This is much higher than the one percent of the global population said to have the autoimmune disease, and, when compared to a study from 25 years ago, the researchers found that the rate of celiac disease had doubled.
Today, anyone can self-screen for celiac disease, which is essential to catching the disorder before it causes damage, painful symptoms, and even irreversible symptoms. This is especially true for anyone with a first degree relative with celiac, as someone with a sibling, parent or child of someone with celiac disease has a much higher chance of having the disorder.
Screening for celiac disease today is easier than ever and many experts say should be done before any symptoms are present and regardless if someone has a family history of the disorder. Just as mammograms screen for breast cancer, and colonoscopies screen for colon cancer without any symptoms present, a simple blood test can screen for celiac disease before any symptoms – and damage – occurs.
With the ease and accuracy of testing for celiac disease today, someone with celiac disease – even asymptomatic or silent celiac disease – can deter damage and a slew of classical (bloating, gas, diarrhea, etc.) and non-classical symptoms (bone density issues, malnourishment, small stature, migraines, etc.) related to undetected and untreated celiac disease.
At-Home Celiac Tests
It’s easier than ever to get tested for celiac disease, and you can do it at home with the simple prick of a finger. The benefits of at-home celiac disease testing include:
Convenience – No doctors visits or time off of work. A test kit will be sent to you by mail. Collect a small blood sample and mail it to the lab. In a few days, the company will email you the results.
Less Money – While you will have to pay out of pocket for an at-home celiac test (about $99), there are no expensive doctor’s visits, co-pays or loss wages as a result of taking time off of work.
Accuracy – An at-home celiac test is just as accurate as any test you’d get from your doctor’s office. In fact, this at-home celiac disease tests for four key biomarkers used to diagnose celiac disease: DGP IgG, tTG IgG, DGP IgAt, and tTg IgA. You can learn more about these biomarkers in my article, How to Get Tested for Celiac Disease, which offers an in-depth look at the celiac disease testing process.
It’s Legit – The results of an at-home celiac disease test is CLIA Certified Lab-certified and physician reviewed before they are presented to you. Your doctor will not need to repeat this test; he or she can simply review the report with you.
No Blood Draw Needed – The imaware at-home celiac test requires only a finger prick and the collection of a small blood sample. No lab blood draw needed.
Where to Buy an At-Home Celiac Test
Once you get the test kit, you’ll collect your sample, send it back in the prepaid envelope, and within a few days, you’ll receive the full test results in your email and on the company’s online dashboard.
A Few Notes to At-Home Celiac Testing
Below are a few important details to keep in mind before ordering an at-home celiac test.
You Must Be Eating Gluten – In order for the imaware at-home celiac test to be accurate, you must be eating gluten. If you’re on a strict, gluten-free diet, you may want to consider taking the Gluten Challenge, or at least undergoing genetic testing before taking any celiac disease test.
If Your Test is Positive – If your test is positive, you should discuss the results, and get an “official” diagnosis, from your doctor. Your doctor may require you to undergo an endoscopy/biopsy and further screening. A positive celiac test provides a good indication that you have the disorder, and should prompt you to undergo further investigation.
If Your Test is Negative – If your test is negative, it’s unlikely that you have celiac disease. However, if you have persistent symptoms, discuss further testing options with your doctor. Some doctors will want to perform an endoscopy to biopsy your small intestine, which is the gold standard diagnosis. Doctors are looking for damage to the small intestine consistent with patients with celiac disease. You may also want to explore non-celiac gluten sensitivity testing, food intolerance testing, and medical tests if symptoms persist.
Remember, if your celiac disease test is negative, but later in life you develop symptoms or you have a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, you’ll want to get tested annually or at least every few years. Celiac disease can turn on at any time and is often dormant until it’s triggered. Read more about What Causes Celiac Disease?
Who Should Take the Test? – Talk to your doctor if you’re uncertain whether you want or need to take a celiac disease test. If you have any digestive issues, or unexplained migraines, fatigue, skin disorders, joint pain, anemia or other non-classical celiac symptoms, you should take the test and rule out celiac disease before implementing a gluten free diet. Remember, you must be eating gluten in order for a celiac disease test to be accurate.
You should also take the test if you have a first degree relative with with celiac disease, as this disorder is genetic. Siblings have the highest chances of having celiac, followed by children and parents of a patient with celiac disease.
The currently available at-home celiac test is only approved for those 18 years and older, although a celiac disease screening test performed by your doctor can be administered at any age.
Where Can I Buy the Test? – You can buy the imaware at-home celiac test online, and use the code, JENNY10, for 10 percent off your purchase.
Involve Your Doctor – Once you take the test, be sure to discuss the results with your physician to see if further testing is necessary. There is no need for your doctor to repeat the blood test though.
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