How is celiac disease diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks you might have celiac disease, he or she will perform a careful physical examination and will discuss your medical history with you. He or she 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.

Your doctor 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. A stool sample may be tested to detect fat in the stool, since celiac disease prevents fat from being absorbed from food.

Your doctor 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.

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