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Getting to the bottom of gluten sensitivity

Measuring for gluten sensitivity

Q: I’ve read some of your previous articles about gluten sensitivity and I think that it could be related to some of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing. How do I find out for sure if grains are contributing to my problems?

Dr. Wright: The most sensitive and specific blood test for gluten/gliadin sensitivity that’s presently available is called the tissue transgluaminase (tTG) test. It’s the one I’ve used since it became available. Others include the endomysial antibodies (EMA) test and the antigliadin antibodies (AGA) test. These two screening techniques check for specific antibodies produced in the body after ingesting grains. The EMA tests measures mostly “short-lived” antibodies and the AGA test checks “longer-lived” antibodies.

Keep in mind, though, that you will not have antibodies to anything you haven’t previously been exposed to. So if you’ve been avoiding all gluten grains, the test will be negative even if you are truly gluten sensitive.