Gluten sensitivity, Gluten intolerance, gluten, gluten-free, gluten tests, affordable, cost effective

The Best, Most-Affordable Test for Gluten Intolerance

If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with celiac disease, a form of gluten intolerance,  research shows that you have a 1 in 22 chance of developing the same problem.

Celiac Disease is just one from of gluten intolerance. Even if you don’t test positive for it, if you have health symptoms that are not clearing up with standard care you can benefit from finding out whether gluten is a contributor.

Wondering how to know if you are gluten intolerant without all the expensive lab tests, or a biopsy?

The Gluten Avoidance test is the method I have my patients follow. It has a lot of positive aspects:

  • it doesn’t require going to a lab
  • you don’t need to donate part of your small intestine for a biopsy
  • you can do it at home
  • if you do have a reaction, you will be very clear about how your particular body responds.

Lab Tests for Gluten Intolerance

Doing a saliva test is a easy screening procedure for gluten intolerance, but it is limited. If the saliva test identifies antibodies to gliadin – then you know you need to avoid gluten. However, you may test negative for gliadin but still be positive for antibodies to OTHER components of gluten.

I do like the blood test for gluten intolerance – if you have the money and want to know right now it is a very reliable way to get an answer. The test runs about $400 and there will be associated office visit fees.

If you do have lab work done make sure it tests for multiple components of gluten such as alpha gliadin, gamma gliadin, transglutaminase and agglutinin.

Click here for more information on additional lab tests for gluten intolerance.

The Gluten Avoidance Test

A less expensive option, that gives you a clear idea of exactly which of your body systems gluten is affecting, is to do a Gluten Avoidance Diet. To find out if you are one of the many people with an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow these steps:

  1. Eliminate all gluten from your diet for 3 weeks. See food sources here.
  2. Monitor your symptoms.
  3. On the 22nd day include a form of gluten in EACH meal. If you introduce it slowly the change may be so gradual that you don’t notice a change.
  4. Monitor your symptoms for the next 72 hours, WITHOUT continuing to consume gluten. One of the ways your body responds to an immune challenge is my increasing Immunoglobin G, which can take up to 72 hours to peak.

For this test to useful you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet for several weeks – no exceptions, no hidden gluten, no beer, no soy sauce

Then when you add it back for ONE day only, if you have an immune reaction to it the change in how you feel should be obvious. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your particular body.

Some people experience joint pain, for others it is a skin rash, nausea, constipation or irritability. The symptoms can vary, depending on your history, genes and other health factors.

Will I Notice Improvement?

NOTE: It is common to not notice improvement during the 3 weeks you eliminate gluten. Gluten is a large, complex, ‘sticky’ compound so it takes a long time to clear it from your tissue. Since the burden is reduced gradually the improvement is not always dramatic.

What may be dramatic is a sudden return of a symptom when you eat gluten foods at each meal for a day.

Important Note: 

Do not attempt this process if you already know you are gluten intolerant.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you tried avoiding gluten? What were the results?

 

image courtesy of Serge Bertasius, freedigitalphotos.net.

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