Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eczema on the Face

From investigating and treating children and adults in the clinic, I came to the conclusion that most childhood eczema is related to food allergy.

Eczema on the face is usually food allergy.

Food allergy – especially gluten – can be the trigger. And because the trigger can be discovered, this means that their eczema can be cured!

I see hundreds of children with eczema. Their parents don’t want yet more creams prescribed – they desperately want a cure. Fortunately, most times they can be helped.

(Suggested reading to find out more: “Eczema! Cure It!”)

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Getting gliadin blood tests in Sydney

For people living in Sydney, Australia Information about getting IgG-Gliadin blood tests in Sydney.

First, why the difficulty? There are 3 things to understand about the blood-test confusion that we find ourselves in:

Most doctors (GPs and specialists) only look for celiac disease. The best blood tests for celiac disease are the tTG and the new test and DGP (deamidated gliadin peptide) which are excellent tests to diagnose the gut damage of coeliac disease.

The test for gluten, IgG-Gliadin antibody, is excellent for finding out about gluten reactions. However, this gluten test has been abandoned by most Sydney labs (because it does not give any indication of gut damage). The immunologists still need to be persuaded that the entity of gluten-sensitivity exists. They remain “institutionally blind” because their focus is on celiac disease rather than helping people with symptoms.

Now the confusing bit! The brand new DGP test (which measures the immune system’s reaction to a tiny fraction of gluten – the Deamidated part) is now being called a “Gliadin test”. But this new DGP test is very different to the old Gliadin test! The labs are currently reporting both tests as "gliadin" tests. Everyone is confused.


To find a solution to the problem, I have contacted many laboratories in Sydney. However, there is more work to do.

As far as I can tell, there are only a few laboratories in Sydney that will do the old IgG-gliadin antibody test:

1 - Viral Diagnostics, 9a Avon Rd, N Ryde, phone: 9888 3444

This is the medical laboratory that can do the IgG-gliadin antibody tests.

“Viral Diagnostics” will accept blood samples sent to it from any other laboratories.

This is the process: Ask your doctor to write on the blood form in big writing: “PLEASE FORWARD THE SERUM SAMPLE ON TO VIRAL DIAGNOSTICS FOR TESTING IgG-GLIADIN AND IgA-GLIADIN ANYBODY LEVELS”

2 - SDS Pathology (which is now part of the same organization as Laverty but not yet merged) Contact: Lucinda Wallman, Head of Immunology, Phone: 0410-327-562
( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) This lab will do the IgG-gliadin antibody test, but this may be abandoned soon.

3- Hanly Moir Pathology might do this – but you have to ask – I have been given differing info on this (it might depend on the location)

4 - Analytical Reference Labs (Victoria)
I have not got any information from them – can anyone help me here?

5 - St John of God Geelong (Victoria) will do the IgG-gliadin antibody test on request

Please can you give me more help on this?

If you know the names of other laboratories that will do this IgG-gliadin antibody test, please would you write me?

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Gluten blood tests - IgG-gliadin

Today's blog is a bit long but is worth the time!

Gluten intolerance/ sensitivity is very common - it affects more than one in ten people. A simple blood test can identify this problem.

Please do not go gluten-free without first getting your blood tests. There is no room to discuss all of the fine details here. Dr Ford has written extensively about these tests in his book: "The Gluten Syndrome"

What does the IgG-gliadin test measure?

The IgG-gliadin test measures your immune response to gliadin. Gliadin is part of the gluten molecule.
The IgG-gliadin test measures the levels of ANTIBODY to gluten (also called: IgG-anti gliadin antibody). This test doe not actually measure gluten. It measures your body’s REACTION against gluten.

Why does your body make this gliadin antibody?

Gliadin is a short protein that your body finds hard to breakdown in your gut. It is part of the gluten molecule. Because gliadin stays fairly much intact in the bowel, it is easy for it to get through the bowel mucosa in one piece and start to stimulate the cells of the immune system. These irritated immune cells start to make antibody molecules against gluten.

Once your immune system starts making this gliadin antibody, your body can continue to produce it for many years, without you ever eating gluten again. However, after a year or two the antibody levels eventually go right down.

Why do IgG-gliadin the test?

The IgG-gliadin test is useful to detect those people who are reacting to gluten. It turns out that one in ten people have a high gliadin antibody level. Most of these people are experiencing symptoms for gluten.
Gluten causes a whole host of illnesses, these symptoms are grouped together as The Gluten Syndrome (see “The Gluten Syndrome” explanation in detail). Gluten reactions are the basis of about a third of all chronic ill health. Gluten especially causes gut, skin and nerve/brain disturbances.

Do you have to be eating gluten at the time of the blood test?

No. The IgG-gliadin antibody test does not detect gluten. It is not a gluten test, rather it is a gluten reactivity test. Therefore, you do not have to eating gluten at the time of the blood tests. But the longer that you are on a gluten-free diet, the less accurate the IgG-gliadin tests will be.

I recommend having all of your blood tests before you go gluten free.
It takes between 6-18 months for your IgG-gliadin antibody levels to go down. So, as long as you have not been off gluten for more than 6 months, you can just go ahead and have the blood test.
If you have been off gluten for several years, it may take 2-4 months of eating gluten again before your gluten antibodies go high again.

Where can I get the IgG-gliadin tests?

Medlab South in Christchurch , NZ, does the tests for my patients. But unfortunately, many laboratories have abandoned the gliadin antibody test. They say it is “old fashioned” (See the “Dinosaur” article on the doctor gluten website). They prefer to do the tTG test – I think that abandoning the IgG-gliadin test is illogical.

To get your blood tests, I recommend that you “download” our Blood Tests forms and letter and take it to your GP and the Lab. This explains the situation.
It is important to ask your laboratory BEFORE you get bled, as to whether they can, and will, do the IgG-gliadin antibody test for you. This may incur an additional cost.

What if I have a high gliadin tests but have no symptoms?

About 10% of the population have high gliadin antibody levels. Most of these people have some symptoms that are attributable to gluten. However, some have no symptoms. If there is no evidence of gut damage (that is, if you do not have celiac disease), then you can continue to eat gluten (although there is no guarantee that gluten is not causing subtle harm).

Has the tTG tests taken over?

The tTG tests stands for tissue transglutaminase. It is an antibody test. The tTG is NOT a gluten test.
No, the tTG test does not replace the gliadin antibody test. The tTG is ONLY an indicator of tissue damage (in the gut). However, a high tTG level infers gluten damage to the gut – but it is not so accurate.
The tTG, it is not a perfect test, especially in children. I repeat, the tTG tests does not tell you anything about gluten reactivity. However, the tTG test is useful in detecting people who have coeliac disease and they of course get better when gluten is removed from their diet.

The newest test is the Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP)

How much does the IgG-gliadin test cost?

Ask you lab about the costs of the gliadin test - every lab is different and some refuse to do the test. MedLab South in Christchurch New Zealand does the test.

Does my doctor know how to interpret the results?

Probably, your doctor is not familiar with the interpretation of the IgG-gliadin tests. In my experience, most doctors have been taught to ignore this gliadin test. Most doctors at this stage still do not recognise that gluten can cause a lot more disease than just coeliac disease.

The medical focus has been on the tTG test (for tissue damage). The majority of my patients who have had the IgG-gliadin tests by their GPs have been told that their tests were “normal” or “nothing to worry about” or “or just a touch of reaction” or “not coeliac, so nothing to do about it” …

I suggest that you actually look at the tests results yourself. The eClinic can help you interpret them as well.

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