What kind of doctor tests for gluten allergy

Before gluten sensitivity can be diagnosed, celiac disease must be ruled out. Physicians generally being this process by using a panel of celiac blood tests to glance for the antibodies that indicate the condition.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy

There is some evidence that two of those tests—the AGA-IgA and the AGG-IgG—could indicate non-celiac gluten sensitivity as well. However, there is currently no blood test that is specific for gluten sensitivity.

Alessio Fasano, MD, head of the University of Maryland Middle for Celiac Research, says that the AGA-IgA and AGA-IgG blood tests only serve as surrogates and that there is no specificity there. The fact that about half of gluten sensitivity patients tested negative for these antibodies makes those two tests much less useful as tests for gluten sensitivity, notes Dr.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy


How Celiac Disease Is Diagnosed

Gluten-Free Diet and Gluten Challenge

Because there is no blood test or other biomarker tests that can diagnose gluten sensitivity, the best method is using a symptom questionnaire and a gluten challenge. The criteria developed by the Salerno Experts' Panel is primarily used for research, but it can be used in a clinical setting:

  • Go on a strict gluten-free diet for at least the next six weeks (preferably with consultation of a dietitian). You rate your symptoms weekly. Response to the gluten-free diet is defined as a greater than a 30% reduction in one to three of your main symptoms in at least three of the six weekly evaluations.
  • Eat a normal gluten-containing diet for at least six weeks and rate your symptoms on a numerical rating scale.
  • See your doctor for a gluten challenge: In a research setting, this is done with a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover challenge.

    For a clinical setting, it could be single-blinded and you wouldn't know whether you've been given gluten, but the doctor would.

For a gluten challenge, you take a dose of 8 grams of gluten (or placebo) daily for one week while otherwise maintaining your gluten-free diet. The gluten (or placebo) is provided in an edible such as a muffin, bar, or bread. You report on your symptoms with the questionnaire.

There is a one-week washout period, followed by a challenge again, this time with the opposite dose (placebo or gluten) and reporting of symptoms. Likewise here, if there is a variation of 30% between the gluten and placebo, it can indicate gluten sensitivity.

If not, other causes of the symptoms should be explored.

For a gluten challenge, you take a dose of 8 grams of gluten (or placebo) daily for one week while otherwise maintaining your gluten-free diet. The gluten (or placebo) is provided in an edible such as a muffin, bar, or bread. You report on your symptoms with the questionnaire.

There is a one-week washout period, followed by a challenge again, this time with the opposite dose (placebo or gluten) and reporting of symptoms. Likewise here, if there is a variation of 30% between the gluten and placebo, it can indicate gluten sensitivity. If not, other causes of the symptoms should be explored.

Differential Diagnoses

Gluten sensitivity can only be diagnosed after ruling out celiac disease and food allergies, especially wheat allergy.

While these three conditions are every treated with a gluten-free or wheat-free diet, they own some significant differences.

Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disease that damages the lining of the little intestine and can lead to malabsorption of nutrients. It has a large number of symptoms and can be diagnosed with blood tests and endoscopy/biopsy of the little intestine. Endoscopy/biopsy might be done if celiac disease is suspected, but will not show any irregularities in gluten sensitivity.

Wheat allergy is an immune system response to the proteins in wheat. When a person has a food allergy to wheat, their body's immune system sees the proteins in wheat as invaders and initiates an allergic response, which can result in hives, swelling of the lips and throat, and, in extreme cases, anaphylaxis.

The reaction to wheat happens extremely quick in wheat allergy, with symptoms in minutes to a few hours.

A person with wheat allergy may be capable to own gluten from non-wheat sources, unless they also own celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Children may outgrow a wheat allergy, but in adults it generally persists for life.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity doesn't own the autoimmune markers or allergy markers seen in celiac disease and wheat allergy, and doesn't show the typical damage to the little intestine seen in celiac disease.

The symptoms develop slowly (in two or more days) after exposure to gluten, rather than rapidly, as seen with wheat allergy.

Finally, there are some connections between gluten sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome that will need to be explored by your doctor as well. For this reason, it is extremely significant that you talk to your doctor about your symptoms if you feel you are reacting to gluten.

Do You Own IBS, Celiac Disease, or Gluten Sensitivity?

A Expression From Verywell

Testing for gluten sensitivity is still in its infancy. The diagnosis is based on excluding other conditions and assessing the reaction to a gluten-free diet and gluten challenge.

There is no dependable at-home test and blood tests are primarily done to law out celiac disease and other conditions. If medical researchers can consent on criteria for the condition, it is likely that better, more precise options will be developed in the future.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Treatment Options

Consumers should be wary of home testing kits for gluten sensitivity as they often give false-positive results and do not use testing methods approved by clinical authorities.

This article is about disorders related to gluten, a natural ingredient in numerous cereals.

It is not to be confused with sensitivities related to glutamate, a flavor-enhancing additive.

Gluten-related disorders is the term for the diseases triggered by gluten, including celiac disease (CD), non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), gluten ataxia, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and wheat allergy.[1][2] The umbrella category has also been referred to as gluten intolerance, though a multi-disciplinary physician-led study, based in part on the 2011 International Coeliac Disease Symposium, concluded that the use of this term should be avoided due to a lack of specificity.[1]

Gluten is a group of proteins, such as prolamins and glutelins,[3] stored with starch in the endosperm of various cereal (grass) grains.

As of 2017[update], gluten-related disorders were increasing in frequency in diverse geographic areas. The increase might be explained by the popularity of the Western diet, the expanded reach of the Mediterranean diet (which also includes grains with gluten), the growing replacement of rice by wheat in numerous countries,[4] the development in recent years of new types of wheat with a higher quantity of cytotoxic gluten peptides,[5] and the higher content of gluten in bread and bakery products, due to the reduction of dough fermentation time.[5]

At-Home Testing

Direct-to-consumer test kits are available that test stool or a finger-prick blood sample for various food sensitivities, including gluten.

However, the testing methods used own not been proven to reliably identify food allergies, food intolerances, or gluten sensitivity.

Test kits such as Everlywell (pitched on the TV series "Shark Tank") test for IgG antibodies, which are a poor indicator of food intolerance. Allergy professional organizations in Europe, Canada, and the United States warn that numerous people without food allergies or intolerances will test positive with these kits, which could lead to unnecessarily restricting healthy foods and won't assist diagnose a food intolerance.

EnteroLab gluten sensitivity testing is marketed directly to consumers, using a stool sample.

Enterolab's stool testing looks for antibodies to gluten directly in your intestinal tract.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy

However, its testing protocol, developed by gastroenterologist Kenneth Fine, MD, has yet to undergo exterior scrutiny and verification.

What's more, Dr. Fine has come under considerable criticism from other physicians and from people in the celiac/gluten-sensitive community for failing to publish his research and results. As a result, few physicians will accept EnteroLab testing as proof of gluten sensitivity.


The following classification of gluten-related disorders was announced in 2011 by a panel of experts in London, and published in February 2012:[6][7]

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)

Main article: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), or gluten sensitivity (GS),[1] is a syndrome in which people develop a variety of intestinal and/or extraintestinal symptoms that improve when gluten is removed from the diet,[31] after coeliac disease and wheat allergy are excluded.[32] NCGS, which is possibly immune-mediated, now appears to be more common than coeliac disease,[33] with a prevalence estimated to be 6–10 times higher.[34]

Gastrointestinal symptoms, which resemble those of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),[31][35] may include any of the following: abdominal pain, bloating, bowel habit abnormalities (either diarrhea or constipation),[35][36]nausea, aerophagia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and aphthous stomatitis.[32][35]

Extra-intestinal symptoms, which can be the only manifestation of NCGS even in absence of gastrointestinal symptoms, may be any of the following: headache or migraine, “foggy mind”, fatigue,[32][35][36]fibromyalgia,[36][37][38] joint and muscle pain,[32][35][36] leg or arm numbness,[32][35][36]tingling of the extremities,[32][35] dermatitis (eczema or skin rash),[32][35]atopic disorders,[32]allergy to one or more inhalants, foods or metals[32][36] (such as mites, graminaceae, parietaria, cat or dog hair, shellfish, or nickel),[36]depression,[32][35][36]anxiety,[36]anemia,[32][35]iron-deficiency anemia, folate deficiency, asthma, rhinitis, eating disorders,[36] or autoimmune diseases.[32]

Among extra-intestinal manifestations, NCGS seems to be involved in some neuropsychiatric disorders,[39] principally schizophrenia,[11][35]autism[11][35][36] and peripheral neuropathy,[11][35] and also ataxia[11] and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).[32]

Gluten is likely responsible for the appearance of symptoms, but it has been suggested than in a subgroup of people with NCGS and symptoms love IBS, other components of wheat and related grains (oligosaccharides love fructans), or other plant proteins contained in gluten-containing cereals (agglutinins, lectins, and amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs)) may frolic a role in the development of gastrointestinal symptoms.[16] ATIs are about 2–4% of the entire protein in modern wheat and 80–90% in gluten.[32] In a review of May 2015 published in Gastroenterology, Fasanoet al. conclude that ATIs may be the inducers of innate immunity in people with coeliac disease or NCGS.[32] As of 2019, reviews conclude that although FODMAPs present in wheat and related grains may frolic a role in non-celiac gluten sensitivity, they only explain certain gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, but not the extra-digestive symptoms that people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may develop, such as neurological disorders, fibromyalgia, psychological disturbances, and dermatitis.[40][41][32] As occurs in people with coeliac disease, the treatment is a gluten-free diet (GFD) strict and maintained, without making any dietary transgression.[36] Whereas coeliac disease requires adherence to a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, it is not yet known whether NCGS is a permanent, or a transient condition.[21][36] The results of a 2017 study propose that NCGS may be a chronic disorder, as is the case with celiac disease.[41] Theoretically, a trial of gluten reintroduction to observe reaction after 1–2 years of strict gluten-free diet might be advisable.[36]

Approximately one third of personas with NCGS continue having symptoms despite gluten withdrawal.

This may be due to diagnostic error, poor dietary compliance, or other reasons. Those afflicted with NCGS may be under the impression that they don’t need to follow a strictly gluten free diet. However, the ingestion of even a little quantity of gluten may cause more immediate symptoms in people suffering from NCGS as compared with those afflicted with coeliac disease. People with NCGS should carefully read ingredient labels on food and be aware of potential cross contamination as a source of gluten in otherwise gluten-free foods. To discover out if there are unintended ingestions of gluten, an exhaustive evaluation with the advice of a coeliac disease specialized dietitian could be necessary.[36]

In some cases, people can significantly improve with a low FODMAPs diet in addition to gluten withdrawal[5] and/or a GFD with a low content of preservatives and additives.[42] Furthermore, associated to gluten sensitivity, NCGS people may often present IgE-mediated allergies to one or more foods[36] and it is estimated that around 35% of people suffer some food intolerances, mainly lactose intolerance.[43]

Autoimmune disorders

Main articles: Celiac disease and Gluten-sensitive enteropathy-associated conditions

Autoimmune conditions related to gluten include celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and gluten ataxia.

There is research showing that in people with gluten ataxia early diagnosis and treatment with a gluten-free diet can improve ataxia and prevent its progression.[8] The population of people with gluten ataxia and other neurological conditions appears to own a diverse HLA distribution, in specific more HLA-DQ1, compared to most persons with celiac disease, who own HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8.[9]

Dermatitis herpetiformis

Main article: Dermatitis herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), or Duhring-Brocq disease, is a chronicblisteringskinautoimmune condition, characterized by the presence of skin lesions that own an extensive and symmetrical distribution, predominating in areas of greater friction, and affecting mainly both elbows, knees, buttocks, ankles, and may also affect the scalp and other parts of the body, and non-symmetrical occasionally.

The lesions are vesicular-crusted and when flake off, they evolve to pigmented areas or achromic an intense burning, itchy and blistering rash.[24][25] Despite its name, DH is neither related to nor caused by herpes virus: the name means that it is a skin inflammation having an appearance similar to herpes.

The age of onset is variable starting in children and adolescence but can also affect individuals of both sexes indistinctly at any age of their lives.[25][26]

DH can relatively commonly present with atypical manifestations, which makes its diagnosis more hard. Some people may show erythema or severe pruritus alone, wheals of chronic urticaria, purpuric lesions resembling petechiae on hands and feet, palmo-plantar keratosis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis-like appearance, and/or lesions mimicking prurigo pigmentosa.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy

DH may be confused with numerous diverse cutaneous lesions, such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, urticaria, scabies, impetigo, polymorphic erythema and other autoimmune blistering diseases.[26]

DH is considered to be the «coeliac disease of the skin». For this reason, the new guidelines of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition for the diagnosis of coeliac disease conclude that a proven diagnosis of DH, by itself, confirms the diagnosis of coeliac disease.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy

Nevertheless, duodenalbiopsy is recommended in doubtful cases, or if there are suspected gastrointestinal complications, including lymphoma.[26] People with DH own diverse degrees of intestinal involvement, ranging from milder mucosal lesions to the presence of villous atrophy.[24]

The main and more efficacious treatment for DH is following a lifelong gluten-free diet, which produces the improvement of skin and gut lesions. Nevertheless, the skin lesions may take several months or even years to vanish.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy

To calm itching, dapsone is often recommended as a temporary treatment, during the time it takes for the diet to work, but it has no effect on the gastrointestinal changes and may own significant side effects.[24][27]

Coeliac disease

Main article: Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease (American English: celiac) (CD) is one of the most common chronic, immune-mediated disorders, triggered by the eating of gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats and derivatives.[10][11] Evidence has shown that this condition not only has an environmental component but a genetic one as well, due to strong associations of CD with the presence of HLA (Human leukocyte antigen) type II, specifically DQ2 and DQ8 alleles.[12] These alleles can stimulate a T cell, mediated immune response against tissue transglutaminase (TTG), an enzyme in the extracellular matrix, leading to inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and eventually villous atrophy of the little intestine.[13] This is where the innate and adaptive immune response systems collide.

CD is not only a gastrointestinal disease. It may involve several organs and cause an extensive variety of non-gastrointestinal symptoms. Most importantly, it may often be completely asymptomatic. Added difficulties for diagnosis are the fact that serological markers (anti-tissue transglutaminase [TG2]) are not always present[14] and numerous people may own minor mucosal lesions, without atrophy of the intestinal villi.[15] Diagnosis of CD should be based on a combination of person’s familial history, genetics (i.e.

presence of HLA DQ2/DQ8) serology and intestinal histology.[16]

CD affects approximately 1–2% of general population every over the world,[17] but most cases remain unrecognized, undiagnosed and untreated, and exposed to the risk of long-term complications.[16][18] People may suffer severe disease symptoms and be subjected to extensive investigations for numerous years, before a proper diagnosis is achieved.[19] Untreated CD may result in the lack of absorption of nutrients, reduced quality of life, iron deficiency, osteoporosis, an increased risk of intestinal lymphomas and greater mortality.[11] CD is associated with some autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes mellitus type 1,[12]thyroiditis,[20]gluten ataxia, psoriasis, vitiligo, autoimmune hepatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and more.[20]

CD with «classic symptoms», which include gastrointestinal manifestations such as chronic diarrhea and bloating, malabsorption of certain vitamins and minerals, loss of appetite, impaired growth and even bone pain, is currently the least common presentation form of the disease and affects predominantly to little children generally younger than two years of age.[13][18][19]

CD with «non-classic symptoms» is the most common clinical found type[19] and occurs in older children (over 2 years old),[19] adolescents and adults.[19] It is characterized by milder or even absent gastrointestinal symptoms and a wide spectrum of non-intestinal manifestations that can involve any organ of the body such as, cerebellar ataxia, hypertransaminasemia and peripheral neuropathy.[16] As previously mentioned, CD extremely frequently may be completely asymptomatic[18] both in children (at least in 43% of the cases[21]) and adults.[18]

To date, the only available medically accepted treatment for people with coeliac disease is to follow a lifelong gluten-free diet.[16][22][23]

Gluten ataxia

Gluten ataxia is an autoimmune disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten.[2] With gluten ataxia, damage takes put in the cerebellum, the balance middle of the brain that controls coordination and complicated movements love walking, speaking and swallowing, with loss of Purkinje cells.

People with gluten ataxia generally present gait abnormality or incoordination and tremor of the upper limbs. Gaze-evoked nystagmus and other ocular signs of cerebellar dysfunction are common. Myoclonus, palatal tremor, and opsoclonus-myoclonus may also appear.[28]

Early diagnosis and treatment with a gluten-free diet can improve ataxia and prevent its progression. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the elapsed time from the onset of the ataxia until diagnosis, because the death of neurons in the cerebellum as a result of gluten exposure is irreversible.[28][29]

Gluten ataxia accounts for 40% of ataxias of unknown origin and 15% of every ataxias.[28][30] Less than 10% of people with gluten ataxia present any gastrointestinal symptom, yet about 40% own intestinal damage.[28]

Wheat allergy

Main article: Wheat allergy

People can also experience adverse effects of wheat as result of a wheat allergy.[16] Gastrointestinal symptoms of wheat allergy are similar to those of coeliac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but there is a diverse interval between exposure to wheat and onset of symptoms.

Wheat allergy has a quick onset (from minutes to hours) after the consumption of food containing wheat and could be anaphylaxis.[14][44]

The treatment of wheat allergy consists of finish withdrawal of any food containing wheat and other gluten-containing cereals.[44][45] Nevertheless, some people can tolerate barley, rye or oats.[46]

Other conditions or risk factors

Antibodies to α-gliadin own been significantly increased in non-celiacs individuals with oral ulceration.[47] Anti-α-gliadin antibodies are frequently found in celiac disease (CD), to a lesser degree subclinical CD, but are also found in a subset who do not own the disease.

Of people with pseudo-exfoliation syndrome, 25% showed increased levels of anti-gliadin IgA.[48] Other people that are also at risk are those taking gluten despite having the disorder, or whose family members with CD. In addition people with autoimmune conditions are also at risk for CD. It has just been found that there is a risk of death in CD. Therefore gluten intake should be limited before or even after the diagnosis.[49] One fourth of people with Sjögren’s syndrome had responses to gluten, of 5 that had positive response to gluten, only one could be confirmed as CD and another was potentially GSE[clarification needed], the remaining 3 appear to be gluten-sensitive.

Every were HLA-DQ2 and/or DQ8-positive.[50]


When enteropathy develops in early childhood, symptomatic disease is more rapidly evident. A survey of geriatrics with celiac disease in Finland revealed that the incidence of disease was much higher than the general population.[57] Allergic disease may rise or drop with age; certain evidence points to the increased or daily use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory factors (aspirin, ibuprofen) as an increased risk factor for urticaria or anaphylaxis, and the sensitizing dose may include low-dose aspirin therapy used in the treatment of heart disease.

NCGS may be a late-onset condition: in a prospective study performed among adults of 18 to 80 years, the median age of disease onset was found to be 55 years, with a six times higher prevalence in females than in males.[5]

The pathogenesis of NCGS is not yet well understood. There is evidence that not only gliadin (the main cytotoxic antigen of gluten), but also other proteins named ATIs which are present in gluten-containing cereals (wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives) may own a role in the development of symptoms. ATIs are potent activators of the innate immune system.[32][40]FODMAPs, especially fructans, are present in little amounts in gluten-containing grains and own been identified as a possible cause of some gastrointestinal symptoms in persons with NCGS.[32][5][40][58] As of 2019, reviews own concluded that although FODMAPs may frolic a role in NCGS, they only explain certain gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, but not the extra-digestive symptoms that people with NCGS may develop, such as neurological disorders, fibromyalgia, psychological disturbances, and dermatitis.[40][41][32]

Immunochemistry of glutens

Main article: Gluten immunochemistry

Triticeae glutens are significant factors in several inflammatory diseases.

What helpful of doctor tests for gluten allergy

The immunochemistry can be subdivided into innate responses (direct stimulation of immune system), class II mediated presentation (HLA-DQ), class I mediated stimulation of killer cells, and antibody recognition. The responses to gluten proteins and polypeptide regions differs according to the type of gluten sensitivity. The response is also dependent on the genetic makeup of the human leukocyte antigen genes. In enteropathy, there are at least 3 types of recognition, innate immunity (a form of cellular immunity priming), HLA-DQ and antibody recognition of gliadin and transglutaminase.[59] In NCGS, there is high AGA IgG in more than half of the cases.[60] In wheat allergy, there appears to be an innate component and the response pathways are mediated through IgE against gliadin and other wheat proteins.[61][62][63]


More than 250 symptoms of gluten sensitivity own been reported, including bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, constipation and diarrhea.[51] Sensitivity may also present with extraintestinal symptoms, including headache, «brain fog», tingling and/or numbness in hands and feet, fatigue, as well as muscular disturbances and bone or joint pain;[52][53][54] also neuropsychiatric manifestations («gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathies») own been reported on.[55]


Studies using anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) reveal that diagnosed or untreated[clarification needed] individuals with AGA own an increasing risk for lymphoid cancers and decreased risk for other conditions associated with affluence.[56]