Many people with symptoms from gluten are unable to be tested for coeliac disease because they have already removed gluten from their diet.
At present, when a person who is already established on a gluten free diet wishes to be tested for coeliac disease, they have to take a gluten challenge. This consists of re-introducing gluten into the diet for several weeks. I had written about it in this blog a few weeks ago.
Click on the following link to read my post: https://candiesglutenfreeland.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/following-a-gluten-free-diet-but-want-to-be-tested-for-coeliac-disease/
However, for many people who start a gluten-free diet without a formal diagnosis, re-introducing gluten for several weeks is often difficult and distressing. Some are not willing to go through the ordeal, or stop before the gluten challenge is completed because they feel so unwell.
There is good news though. A new blood test is being developed to diagnose coeliac disease , and preliminary tests on 48 participants has found that the blood test can diagnose coeliac disease accurately after only three days of gluten consumption. Results can be obtained within 24 hours. This removes the need to take the gluten challenge for several weeks or months before an endoscopy is done to obtain intestinal biopsies. It should improve detection of coeliac disease, with the possibility of avoiding intestinal biopsies.
This blood test is being developed by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia and their colleagues from ImmusanT in Boston, US.
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