Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gluten Tests in Auckland, New Zealand

Get the gluten test

My clinical experience that the gluten blood test “IgG-gliadin antibody” is an excellent way to detect gluten-sensitivity (the gluten syndrome). But it is not a good test to diagnose celiac/coeliac disease.

Because of medical scepticism about the gluten-sensitivity diagnosis, and because this gluten test does not diagnose celiac disease, this test is not offered in Auckland (by Labtests Auckland). This is very frustrating for everyone.

However, many other gastroenterologists and allergist, worldwide, also rely on this IgG-gliadin test as a marker of gluten-sensitivity.

You can send blood sample to Christchurch, NZ

However, Labtests Auckland Ltd (and previously Auckland Diagnostic Medlab) when asked, might courier your blood sample down to Christchurch MedLab for testing (they used to charge about $70 for this service). You must very clearly identify the IgG-gliadin request on your blood form.

See your GP

To get this test, you need your own GP to fill out your blood form. Ask for these tests for comprehensive testing for celiac and gluten problems:

tTG antibody (called IgA tissue transglutaminase antibody)

DGP antibody (called Deamidated Gliaidn Peptide, IgA and IgG)

IgG-gliadin (also called IgG anti-gliadin antibody)

IgA-gliadin (also called IgA anti-gliadin antibody)

Also these tests help with the interpretation :

Total IgA antibody levels (looking for deficiency in IgA antibody production)

Ferritin (a measure of your iron stores)

Hb (Haemoglobin to check for anaemia)

CRP (called C-Reactive-Protein to look for evidence of inflammation)

Use the eClinic for help with the interpretation.

Because the Auckland GPs are unfamiliar with the gliadin test (it is not offered in Auckland), they subsequently are unsure of the interpretation. So if you enter the blood test results into the "TEST results" section of the eClinic, you will get an accurate interpretation.

The reasons for many laboratories to abandon the gluten tests are as follows:
1) Most Medical Practitioners are currently only looking for celiac disease.

2) Currently, there are 3 blood tests available for identifying celiac disease. These are: the tTG, the DGP and the EMA tests. Different labs do different tests - there is no standard approach.

3) Most Medical Practitioners have been trained to disregard IgG-gliadin results in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
4) The diagnosis of gluten-sensitivity is often regarded by some medical practitioners with scepticism, because the concept of the gluten syndrome is very recent.

The Gluten Syndrome affects about 10% of the population.

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