Researchers estimate that only 20 percent of people with celiac disease may receive a diagnosis.

Doctors may order two blood tests to help diagnose celiac disease.

  • Serology testing looks for antibodies in your blood. Elevated levels of certain antibody proteins indicate an immune reaction to gluten.
  • Genetic testing for human leukocyte antigens (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) can be used to rule out celiac disease.

If the results of these 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.

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.