About Celiac Disease and Getting Tested

Celiac disease is a multi-system disorder caused by the body's immune system reacting to the proteins of wheat, rye and barley. The immune reaction damages the lining of the small intestine causing reduced nutrient absorption and a range of symptoms that can include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue, or even constipation, in some. Some patients are inappropriately labeled as having irritable bowel syndrome or other diseases when the diagnosis of celiac disease is not considered.

Celiac disease affects all age groups from infancy to adulthood. The disease occurs in approximately 1 in 100 people in the United States yet only a small percentage of individuals with celiac disease are diagnosed. Current estimates are that there are more than 2 million people in the United States with celiac disease who have not been diagnosed.

Many patients are not tested properly prior to diagnosis. If you think you may have celiac disease, ask your doctor to send the IgA Tissue Transglutaminase test to screen you for celiac disease. Do not change your diet until you have undergone proper testing for celiac disease. An appointment with the Wm. K. Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease will help guide you through your evaluation and treatment for celiac disease and teach you more about keeping your disease under control with a healthy gluten-free diet.