If you suspect an issue with gluten, dairy, or soy there are tests you can do to rule out both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. You can also test for both allergies to dairy and soy and sensitivities to dairy and soy. The problem is that they are different tests.
If you want to rule out full blown celiac disease, start with the genetic test. If you don’t have any copies of the genes DQ2 or DQ8 then you don’t have celiac disease. I have both genes so I qualified for further testing. Prometheus labs does a great test that tells you how many copies of each you have.
The second test that your doctor will probably recommend is the IgA transmutase blood test. I am not a doctor, but I don’t like to rely on a single blood test. I have had tests that showed no white blood cells, and the repeat showed the same, and then a third test two weeks later was normal. Blood seems very reactive to me and the result you get today is not necessarily the same as the result you will get in two weeks. They are great for telling you about acute issues, but if I relied on a single blood test I am not sure I would ever have known I had gestational diabetes.
Plus three year olds do not react well to blood tests.
If you manage to fail both tests (and you will need to be eating gluten daily or the blood test will likely show negative for CD) then you get the intestinal biopsy which requires that you be anesthetized. I did not want my preschooler anesthetized.
So we used a company called Enterolab. I will provide a link to their site at the end of this article. They test poop instead. You freeze the poop and mail it to them along with the cheek swabs and you get back a pretty comprehensive report about your DNA and your level of sensitivity to whichever common foods you have tested. We tested gluten and dairy but you may also want to test for soy or other foods that they offer. You don’t need a prescription but you do need a few hundred dollars. Insurance is unlikely to cover the test.
In addition, because the test has not been peer-reviewed, doctors don’t recommend it. They are concerned about the validity of the results. That said, it is very difficult if you know microbiology (I know enough to be dangerous) to show why it would not work and many gluten-free parents think Dr. Fine is wonderful for making this test available.
So in my case I determined that
1) I had both genes
2) I had virtually all of the common symptoms
3) My son failed the Enterolab test by a laughable margin.
4) My son improved visibly within a week on the gluten, dairy, and soy-free diet.
So I used the true gold standard. I went 100% gluten and dairy free for two full months. Not a crumb. Not a salad that had previously had a crouton on it.
Then I ate half a pizza. Within an hour I literally passed out. I then spent two days in the bathroom.
I did it again. Two more months of good behavior. This time I ate a sandwich with regular bread. Again, an hour later I was dizzy and ill. More time in the bathroom.
The third time was an accident. I was glad I knew where all the bathrooms were in the local stores.
There was no fourth time. I knew. By then I had watched as I literally got younger looking. People thought I had done something to my face. Health problems I had for years were melting away.
So I thought the Enterolab test was terrific and I recommend it as a way to rule out major food sensitivities like gluten, dairy and soy as the source of your problems. If you get a negative answer, then this is probably not your problem.
If you get a positive answer try the diet.
If you want to check out Enterolab, here is the link