Mayo Clinic doctors routinely screen for celiac in people considered at risk for the disease, including:
- Family members of people with celiac
- People with chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, type 1 diabetes, premature bone disease and infertility
Celiac disease has symptoms similar to other digestive disorders. Mayo Clinic doctors have broad expertise in digestive diseases and will screen you for other conditions if you test negative for celiac disease.
Mayo Clinic doctors use these tests to diagnose celiac disease:
- Blood tests. Elevated levels of certain substances in your blood (antibodies) indicate an allergic reaction to gluten. These tests detect celiac disease even if you have only mild symptoms or none at all.
- Endoscopy. If your blood tests are positive, your doctor will order an endoscopic exam to observe your small intestine and to take a tissue sample. The specimen is checked for damage to the villi (tiny, hairlike projections from the small intestine that absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat).
- Capsule endoscopy. Capsule endoscopy uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your small intestine. The camera sits inside a vitamin-sized capsule, which you swallow. A Mayo study has shown capsule endoscopy allows doctors to see the entire small intestine, not just the first one to two feet that can be seen with endoscopy.
Read more about celiac disease diagnosis, endoscopy and capsule endoscopy at MayoClinic.com.