Diagnosing a gluten allergy can be a lengthy process. Although it is possible to do a gluten allergy test, chances are you won’t have that done when you first suspect you suffer from this allergy.
Part of the reason why it can take a while to be officially diagnosed is because the symptoms of a gluten allergy are similar to a lot of other ailments. Because of this, many people go for years, if not an entire lifetime, never realizing that the symptoms they are suffering with are caused by gluten.
Talk To Your Doctor
If you suspect gluten is the cause of your misery, then the first step is to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. It may be helpful for you to create a journal first, so you can bring it with you to your appointment. Write down what you eat, what your symptoms are, and how soon you experienced them after eating.
Bring your journal with you when you see your doctor. This will help your doctor make an initial diagnosis. In the event that there is not enough information to make an initial diagnosis, your doctor may at least be able to rule out other possibilities.
Your doctor will most likely want one or more additional tests performed before making a final diagnosis of being allergic to gluten. These may include a skin test, blood test, and possibly even a biopsy.
Many allergies can be confirmed with a simple skin test. There are several ways to conduct a skin allergy test. The test for gluten will probably be performed by injecting the offending allergen (in this case, gluten) under the skin. It will be injected into the skin on either one of your arms or on your back. There will be minimal discomfort, if any.
You will need to wait about 15 minutes to see if there is a reaction. A positive reaction will cause a raised, red bump that looks like a mosquito bite. It might itch like one, too. The size of the bump will be measured, and the size of the bump will determine the strength of the allergy.
Results to a skin allergy test will be known as soon as the test is completed. You will likely get the results the same day of the test.
Some allergies, including gluten allergies, can be confirmed with a blood test. This may be recommended if celiac disease is also suspected.
It is important that you continue to eat gluten before getting a blood test done. The reason is because the test will look for antibodies, which are created by the immune system. These will only be present if the body is attacking gluten. If you stop eating gluten, then there may not be any gluten antibodies in your system, which can lead to a false negative in the results.
This is a non-fasting test, so it’s okay to eat on the day of the test. There are a lot of different types of blood tests that your doctor can ask for, so you may one more than one vial of blood taken.
Your blood will be sent to a lab for diagnosis. This can take a few days or a few weeks, so you will not get the results right away.
Biopsy And Endoscopy
Depending on the results of your blood test, your doctor may also want you to get a biopsy with an endoscopy. This typically happens when celiac disease is suspected. The biopsy will be of your small intestine to look for damage to the villi (the part of the intestinal tract that is damaged by gluten when people have celiac disease).
This is a fasting test, so you will need to start fasting the night before the procedure. The test itself is done in a medical facility, but is an outpatient procedure, meaning you will go home after the test is done.
You will be anesthetized. While out, an endoscopy (a long tube that is about as wide as a thumb and has a light and camera attached to the end) will be inserted into your mouth, down to to your small intestine. Next, forceps will be inserted into the tube to the small intestine, and used to scrape a sample of the intestine’s lining, which contains villi.
At least four different tissue samples should be taken, from different parts of the small intestine. The reason for this is because damage may occur in one part of the small intestine, but not another. Getting multiple samples helps ensure that damaged villi are found. Make sure you have verified that multiple samples will be taken, so that any potential damage is found.
The tissue samples will be sent to a pathologist, who will examine them under a microscope. The pathologist will report all findings back to your doctor, who will then contact you with the results. It can take a few days or longer before you get results.
Details About The Different Blood Tests Available To Determine Gluten Allergies, Sensitivities, or Celiac Disease - http://www.drrodneyford.com/faq/investigations/gluten-blood-tests.html