Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Celiac Disease Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Celiac Disease - Exams and Tests

A medical history, physical exam, and lab tests often point to celiac disease. The diagnosis is confirmed with a small intestine biopsy collected during an endoscopy, where a small tube is guided down a person's throat to the small intestine.

Tests for celiac disease should be done when you or your child is still eating a diet that includes gluten. If you have already started a gluten-free diet before these tests are done, the doctor may suggest that you or your child eat a certain amount of gluten before the tests.

Recommended Related to Celiac Disease

Jennifer's Way: Helping Those with Celiac Disease

When Jennifer Esposito was diagnosed with celiac disease three years ago, the actress was shocked and relieved. "It was hard, but it was also the day I realized the person I once knew as 'me' was gone," says Esposito, 39, who plays detective Jackie Curatola on the CBS hit police drama Blue Bloods. Misleading advice and a delayed diagnosis cost Esposito precious "life" time as she searched for the reasons behind a litany of unexplained ailments, she says. Now she's determined to save others from...

Read the Jennifer's Way: Helping Those with Celiac Disease article > >

Blood antibody tests

Celiac disease triggers the immune system to produce certain antibodies. Blood tests that find and measure these antibodies include:

  • IgAtTG: Immunoglobulin A (IgA) anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibody.
  • IgAEMA: Immunoglobulin A (IgA) antiendomysial antibody (EMA).

Endoscopy

A biopsy taken during an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy may be done to confirm celiac disease after antibodies have been found. Sometimes a biopsy detects celiac disease when a person is being tested for another condition.

If the biopsy shows signs of celiac disease (such as abnormal villi and inflammation in the small intestine), a gluten-free diet will be recommended.

A diagnosis of celiac disease is confirmed if the diet makes symptoms go away and if antibody tests become normal.

Other tests

Other tests that may be done include:

Tests to look for other conditions and diseases may be needed if a diagnosis of celiac disease is suspected but symptoms don't improve with a gluten-free diet.

You can prepare your child for these tests. Knowing why tests are being done and what to expect can help make the tests less scary.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

thumbnail for Gluten-free Diet slideshow
Slideshow
Celiac Disease Symptoms
Article
 
Gluten Intolerance Against Grain
Article
clams
Quiz
 
Various vegetables in sautee pan
Video
Expert Q And A Eating With Food Allergies
Article
 
Celiac Hope
Tool
Fresh produce in fridge drawer
Video