Celiac Disease Diagnosis

If you experienced unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms for more than two weeks, make an appointment with your doctor. There could be a number of reasons for the stomach pain, and an expert diagnosis can provide you with the necessary treatment and relief. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions.

Diagnosing Celiac Disease

Your doctor will begin the diagnosis by asking you about your symptoms and your medical and family history. 

Other diagnostic procedures include:

  • Laboratory tests - We will take a blood sample to determine if you have a high level of certain antibodies, which can be a mark of celiac disease. Antibodies are the proteins the body produces to fight foreign substances. In patients with celiac, the body recognizes gluten as something foreign. Therefore, there may be elevated levels of antibodies that the body created to fight the gluten.
  • Tissue sample - We may want to collect a small tissue sample from your small intestine. This way, we can examine it for damage. We will insert an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube, into your mouth and down your throat. When it reaches the small intestine, we collect a sample to examine.
  • Capsule endoscopy - Occasionally, we may want to examine the entire small intestine using a procedure called capsule endoscopy. During this procedure:
    • You swallow a capsule the size of a pill.
    • The pill contains a tiny camera that takes pictures as it travels through your digestive tract.
    • The camera sends the images to a recorder that you wear on a belt.
    • Your doctor reviews the images.
    • You excrete the capsule naturally and flush it down the toilet.

Celiac Disease: Treatment

Once we obtain an accurate diagnosis, we will create your individualized treatment plan. Celiac Disease Treatments include dietary changes and medication. Learn more about celiac disease treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-8865.