Coeliac Disease: Screening And Diagnosis

Despite coeliac being a relatively common medical condition, many people with the disease aren’t even aware of having it. This is mainly because the symptoms of coeliac are quite familiar and can often be mistaken for other common illnesses. However, the frequency and intensity of these symptoms lead to the severity of the disease.

Here’s a quick guide on coeliac disease and what coeliac screen tests are currently available for its diagnosis.

Coeliac Disease: What Is It?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes adverse reactions to gluten intake. In individuals with this condition, eating gluten causes the immune system to attack the digestive system. This leads to damage to the inner tissue lining of the small intestine, which is rendered inactive.

What Is Gluten And Where Is It Found?

Gluten is a common structural protein found in oats, wheat, and rye grains. As the name suggests, it has a glue-like consistency which gives baked foods their chewy texture. Besides being prevalently used in bread and cakes, gluten is also a common ingredient used in condiments, beverages, and processed canned items.

What is a Coeliac Screen Test?

Individuals with the condition have abnormally high levels of particular antibodies in their bloodstream due to gluten intake. A coeliac screen test detects these high levels.

The test helps:

·         Diagnose the condition

·         Monitor its progression

Who Needs a Coeliac Diagnostic Test?

Your doctor will advise you to get screened for coeliac if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms. However, it’s important to note that the disease often looks different for different people and you need not experience all of these symptoms.

·         Bloating

·         Abdominal pain

·         Constipation and diarrhea

·         Muscle and joint pain

·         Fatigue

·         Other autoimmune diseases

·         Anxiety and depression

Types of Coeliac Screen Tests

Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody Test

The tTG is the most accurate form of blood test for coeliac disease. Gluten intake by patients with coeliac tends to activate these antibodies, which are vital for wound healing. Therefore, elevated levels of tTG are detected by a coeliac screen through a blood sample.

Immunoglobulin A Test

Your general physician will usually ask to get tested for this antibody. IgA deficiency is a standard signal for the presence of coeliac disease.


Though the tests mentioned above are highly sensitive, a biopsy gives a definitive answer. A sample of the tissue lining of the small intestine is required for the examination. Your gastroenterologist will obtain this sample by using an endoscope gently inserted into your mouth.

Final Words

While living with coeliac disease may seem overwhelming, rest assured that you can continue to live your life to the fullest and enjoy foods without gluten. However, making simple changes in your dietary habits is bound to make a considerable difference. It is important to consult with your health provider if you feel you may be at risk of coeliac disease.