How is celiac disease diagnosed?

If your healthcare provider thinks you might have celiac disease, they will perform a careful physical examination and discuss your medical history with you. The provider may also perform a blood test to measure levels of antibodies to gluten. People with celiac disease have higher levels of certain antibodies in their blood. Sometimes having a genetic test for celiac disease in the blood may be necessary.

Your provider may perform other tests to look for nutritional shortages, such as a blood test to detect iron levels. A low level of iron (which can cause anemia) can occur with celiac disease.

Your provider may take a biopsy from your small intestine to check for damage to the villi. In a biopsy, the doctor inserts an endoscope (a thin, hollow tube) through your mouth and into the small intestine and takes a sample of the small intestine with an instrument. This is done with sedation or anesthesia to avoid any discomfort during the procedure.

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