ZocdocAnswersCould my Celiac Sprue test have been a false positive?

Question

Could my Celiac Sprue test have been a false positive?

I was told 10 years ago that my blood test for celiac sprue was positive but both my parents, brother, and kids were tested and nobody has the disease what's the chances I have received a false positive? At the time I was told that I supposedly had this I really wasn't that sick I had symptoms of the stomach bug. I can drink milk and I do not have a rash anywhere. I do not want to live life like this anymore and just want answers I was thinking of trying something with gluten in it but I do not want to do any damage just in case.

Answer

The test for the antibody for celiac sprue is fairly good. If you tested positive for it, the chances are that you have a gluten allergy, and would react to gluten if you consumed it. However, the blood test is no replacement for your symptoms. If you felt fine while you ate food with gluten, but happen to get the blood test for another reason, then you may not clinically have celiac sprue. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell now that you are on the gluten free diet. You may not have the rash because you aren't consuing gluten. You will continue to do well on that diet, but no one will every know if you need to be on it unless you try gluten and get sick. The best way to confirm the diagnosis is to perform a small bowel biopsy. This is done with an endoscopy scope that takes a small piece of tissue from inside your bowel. This will aid in the diagnosis, but only if you are consuming gluten at the time of the biopsy. The best type of physician for you to see about this problem is a gastroenterologist. The two of you should sit down and discuss your issues in detail. Perhaps you can come up with a plan to try yourself back on a diet with gluten while being closely monitored for symptoms that would suggest you have celiac sprue.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.