Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Tests and procedures used to diagnose celiac disease include:

  • Blood tests. Elevated levels of certain substances in your blood (antibodies) indicate an immune reaction to gluten. These tests detect celiac disease even if you have only mild symptoms or none at all.
  • Endoscopy. If your blood tests indicate celiac disease, your doctor may order an endoscopy to view your small intestine and to take a small tissue sample (biopsy) to analyze for damage to the villi.
  • Capsule endoscopy. Capsule endoscopy uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your entire small intestine. The camera sits inside a vitamin-sized capsule, which you swallow. As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder.

It's important to be tested for celiac disease before trying a gluten-free diet. Eliminating gluten from your diet may change the results of blood tests so that they appear to be normal.

May 22, 2013