Many people follow a gluten-free diet because they think it’s healthier for them. But doctors say you only need to avoid foods with wheat, barley, and rye, if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
There’s no test for gluten sensitivity, but a blood test and bowel biopsy can confirm or rule out celiac disease, according to Dr. Joel Haight, gastroenterologist, Penn State Hershey Medical Group, State College. However, you have to eat bread and other foods with gluten, before taking the test.
Dr. Haight explains, “You can’t diagnose celiac disease if you’re already on a gluten-free diet. That invalidates those tests, and in order to do the test , you need to go back on a gluten containing diet, for at least 2 weeks in order to be tested.”
Dr. Haight answered a wide range of questions about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, Thursday, in a web chat hosted by WTAJ Health Reporter Charlotte Ames.