Test for Gluten Sensitivity

Test for Gluten Sensitivity: Overview

Alternative names: Test for gluten intolerance

There are two ways to check for gluten sensitivity: an elimination diet or laboratory testing.  Note that celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, which is not the same as having gluten sensitivity.

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Many doctors believe that the best way to see if you are sensitive to gluten is to simply exclude it 100% from your diet for a minimum of 30 days.  See if you feel better on a gluten-free diet, then re-introduce gluten to see if symptoms return.  If there is a significant change in how well you feel, then you are probably gluten-sensitive.

Some people feel so much better after going gluten free that they don't bother with testing and just stick to the diet.  Others, however, prefer to know for sure: "Am I gluten sensitive – or not?"  Those who are uncertain are more likely to cheat with their diet.


Traditional lab testing is only designed to diagnose celiac disease, which is not the same as gluten sensitivity.  To further complicate matters, symptoms of gluten sensitivity may be due to an allergy or other factors.

The following tests can be ordered when trying to determine a patient's sensitivity to gluten:

  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies (can give false negative results)
  • IgG anti-gliadin antibodies (can give false negative results)
  • IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
  • Anti-tissue transglutaminase / tissue transglutaminase antibodies (can give false negative results)
  • Total IgA antibodies
  • Genetic testing (the gold standard)
  • Intestinal biopsy (for detecting suspected celiac disease, but is also prone to false negative results)

Note, however, that because of the way these tests work, there is the possibility of false negative results.  Testing methods are constantly evolving to reduce the possibility of error and some laboratories will produce more reliable results than others.

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Test For Gluten Sensitivity:

Test for Gluten Sensitivity can help with the following:


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In the general population, only 1% of people are sensitive to gluten.  However, in children with ADHD the percentage is much higher.  If the child is gluten-sensitive, removing gluten from the diet can produce dramatic and almost immediate results.

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