Celiac DNA tests

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A celiac DNA test is a DNA-based test with the aim of finding out if a person has celiac disease. Celiac disease often affects children however, it may develop at any age (celiac DNA test can be done at any age). In contrast with the standard medical blood tests for celiac disease which require that you consume gluten before taking the test, a celiac DNA test will show whether or not you carry the gene and the DNA sample will either involve a tiny droplet of blood, a saliva sample or a cheek swab.

This disease is a serious autoimmune condition that estimated to affect every 1 in 100 people worldwide. It is also thought that while 40% of the population might be carriers of celiac disease, only 1% of the population manifest the actual disease. These people typically have a genetical predisposition that leads to intestinal damage when foods containing gluten are ingested. This disease can lead to long-term complications.

Diagnosing Celiacs disease

Diagnosis of this disease can be difficult but a celiac DNA test can offer insights. When a person with celiac disease eats food with gluten in it, an immune reaction is triggered leading to inflammation that destroys the lining of the small intestine. One of the major complications because of the autoimmune reaction is that it prevents the small intestine from performing one of its main functions, absorption of nutrients.

Symptoms of Celiacs disease

Typically, people with celiac disease tend to have chronic diarrhea while other people have no traceable symptoms. The other symptoms that may occur with diarrhea include:

  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Osteoporosis
  • Anemia 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Infertility 
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Migraine headaches
  • Unexplained iron deficiency

Finding out if you have celiac disease

Popular DNA testing company, 23andme, has a testing product that includes a 23andme celiac test which looks at the genes mostly involved, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DQ2 and DQ8. These are supposed to aid the immune system to respond to viruses and bacteria. But variations of these genes can lead to celiac disease. 

The 23andme celiac test involves using a sample of saliva to isolate and analyze the DNA. Many people know 23andme for ancestry, for finding genetic relatives and discovering specific traits within the genome. But their $99 test also tests for genetic predisposition to certain diseases such as celiac disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 Diabetes, hereditary thrombophilia, and hereditary hemochromatosis. 

You can request for your results to include 23andme raw data celiac disease. However, the results of the test is not a diagnosis, it is supplementary to other tests to find celiac disease. Factors such as lifestyle, genetic markers, and environment are not taken into consideration for this test but they play a relevant role in the development of any disease. Therefore, it is best to consult with a healthcare provider or doctor to make sense of the results and know what steps to take next. 

It is important for those who have a family history of celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes or Down Syndrome to get checked. This recommendation for first-degree family members is made because the disease is hereditary. Also if these at-risk family members are tested and don’t have the genes that influence celiac disease, then it is almost guaranteed that the disease won’t develop later in life. Some of the DNA tests will reveal whether you have a gluten intolerance rather than celiac disease. Gluten intolerance is milder and does not have severe symptoms of celiac disease which are triggered by the autoimmune response to gluten.

Other at-home genetic tests for celiac disease

  1. SmartDNA has a Genomic Wellness Plus kit which includes a celiac DNA test. This test costs $420. Though this test is expensive, it does not only cover celiac disease but covers up to 160 DNA changes. The company claims the test is scientifically up to date and it offers comprehensive analysis with actionable steps to assist healthcare officers with utilizing the results.
  2. Easy DNA has a celiac DNA test that is offered at $199 and is ready after 1-2 weeks upon receipt of the samples at the laboratory. The test is aimed at finding the 83% of celiac disease sufferers who remain undiagnosed and have no idea about the disease.
  3. Dynamic DNA labs have a Nutrition DNA test which costs $149 and the test also offers some insights into celiac disease as well as uncovering other genetic traits focused on diet and wellness. 

Where is gluten found?

Gluten is found in many foods especially those with wheat in them. Gluten might also be found in medicines, tablets, cosmetic products, and candy. It is important to check the information labels for Gluten-free whenever you make a purchase. Certain restaurants also offer gluten-free meals. 

Moreover, the key way to treat the disease is strict avoidance of gluten-containing foods. This remarkably can help alleviate symptoms and enhance intestinal healing. Therefore, for those who have the disease, it is best to avoid gluten which is found in 

  • Wheat 
  • Oat
  • Barley 
  • Rye