Medically reviewed on June 16, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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When you’re concerned that you or a loved one has celiac disease, biding your time for the blood test results to arrive can require some patience.
So, how long does it take for celiac blood test results? The good news is that most tests have a relatively rapid turnaround: you’ll be notified of your results just 1 to 2 weeks after your procedure .
While you wait, it can be helpful to look ahead and anticipate whatever news your celiac disease tests hold. The more equipped you are to interpret test results, the better you’ll be able to tend to the next steps, whatever they have in store.
Celiac disease is not a food allergy or a food intolerance . It is classified as an autoimmune disorder. When people with celiac disease ingest gluten, their immune cells perceive gluten proteins as a threat, targeting and degrading the lining of the small intestine in response.
hus, blood tests—or serological tests—are usually the first diagnostic measure that healthcare providers use to detect the presence of celiac disease. Blood tests can help identify specific enzymes and antibodies in the bloodstream that may indicate an autoimmune reaction in response to gluten exposure.
There are three main types of blood tests that may be used for celiac disease screening. These are :
Between these three types of serology tests, tTG-IgA is the preferred diagnostic strategy used by most healthcare providers . This is because some 2% to 3% of people with celiac disease tend to have a pronounced deficiency of IgA (immunoglobulin A), which can indicate the presence of a food allergy or an autoimmune disorder .
However, because some individuals with celiac lack sufficient IgA in their bloodstream, an IgA test alone may not be adequate for screening for celiac disease. In this case, it may be necessary to test IgG levels to deliver a more accurate diagnosis .
When your celiac disease test results come in, you’ll receive an evaluation indicating whether certain celiac disease markers were found to be present in your bloodstream.
These fall into two categories: negative, indeterminate, or positive.
Negative test results indicate that you do not exhibit markers for celiac disease, but you may still need further testing to rule it out completely.
If your healthcare provider confirms that you do not have celiac disease, it’s important to explore other possible causes of your digestive distress so that you can devise an appropriate treatment protocol.
Many of the common digestive symptoms of celiac disease overlap with related digestive ailments, food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities. These include :
Often, people who suspect they have celiac disease could have a gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. While celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder defined by the long-term structural damage it causes to the small intestine, gluten sensitivities, and wheat allergies are not classified as autoimmune disease.
However, they can result in significant digestive distress and, in the case of wheat allergies, symptoms like anaphylaxis—a severe allergic reaction—can ensue if an individual doesn’t adopt proper dietary habits .
Positive test results indicate you exhibit some or all markers for celiac disease, while indeterminate or uncertain test results indicate that celiac disease can’t be ruled out completely.
In both cases, you’ll need to advance to the next stage of testing, and your healthcare provider may recommend that you book an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Before undergoing more testing, it’s crucial that you don’t exclude gluten from your diet. This is because you’ll need to maintain your typical eating habits to ensure the accuracy of your next round of testing.
Three other types of tests that healthcare providers may use to cement a celiac disease diagnosis include :
More than 2 million people in the US have celiac disease, but some research suggests that many Americans may be undiagnosed .
Certain people are more likely to have celiac disease than others, including :
It’s critical to understand that celiac disease is a heritable autoimmune disorder: the more of your relatives that have celiac, the more likely you are to have it. Before running a blood test, your healthcare provider should take a thorough family medical history to assess whether you may have a genetic predisposition for the disorder. This will also help them determine how exhaustive your testing process should be .
Celiac disease doesn’t just impede individuals’ ability to digest foods like wheat, barley, and rye . If left untreated, the injury it can do to your small intestine can compromise your digestive system’s ability to absorb other crucial nutrients as well. In the long-term, this can lead to :
If you or your relatives have tested positive for celiac disease, it’s vital to take steps toward preventing adverse health effects as early as possible. Reaching out to your parents following your diagnosis could save significant medical fees and physical discomfort.
Similarly, if you have children and test positive for celiac disease, having them screened as soon as possible can be a crucial preventative health measure to take. While antibody tests may not be effective for children younger than 3 years old, genetic testing can be an excellent means of determining whether they have a genetic predisposition for the condition.
Whatever verdict your test results deliver, it is possible to adapt gracefully to a celiac disease diagnosis. With mindful eating practices, transparency with your loved ones, and a conscious, flexible attitude, going gluten-free doesn’t have to feel restrictive. By taking a more deliberate approach to your limitations, you may find it unlocks limitless possibilities for your health and well-being.
Screening tests, like the Everlywell Celiac Disease Screening Test, can be a helpful initial step in understanding whether celiac disease may be affecting your health. An at-home lab test that checks for antibodies that may indicate celiac disease, results can help identify if you may have an increased risk of celiac disease.
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