Celiac disease is much more common than you think, which begs the question if whether or not a bowel movement sample can indicate the presence of this condition.
BMs and Celiac Disease
Most celiacs are asymptomatic. If someone has microscopic colitis, and asymptomatic celiac disease, the only way to confirm celiac is with the small-intestine biopsy.
However, can’t a stool sample be very telling (antigliadin level)?
Mainstream medicine does not place value on stool samples for celiac detection, but it seems to me that a stool sample analysis would be valuable since more of the antibodies would be concentrated in the stool than in the blood?
“This is not true,” says Eugene Yen, MD, a gastroenterologist with Northshore Medical Group in Illinois, who has a special interest in inflammatory bowel diseases.
“There was a study in the 1990s that looked at stool studies for celiac, and this fared horribly.
“The blood tests for celiac are very accurate, and we haven’t done stool analysis in years.
“People who order stool testing for this condition are either unaware of published data or operating on other assumptions.
“I don’t assume that the medical community is correct on everything, but this has been studied adequately.”
If you have reason to suspect you have celiac disease (e.g., a family member has it; eating gluten-containing foods always results in cramps and diarrhea; or unexplained miscellaneous symptoms such as joint aches, fatigue and depression), then ask your doctor to order a celiac blood test.
Dr. Yen has specialty training in colon cancer prevention plus the management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.