If you go to your primary care physician and discuss your concern about a possible gluten intolerance, he or she will likely recommend starting with simple blood work.
This blood work tests for the anti-gliadin antibody in your blood. Raised levels of this antibody indicate celiac disease. Gliadin is the prolamin protein in gluten that is most responsible for catalyzing the condition we know as celiac disease.
The problem is that this blood test often misses some legitimate cases of celiac disease as well as other forms of gluten intolerance, such as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), gluten ataxia or dermatitis herpetiformis. It also will not detect a wheat allergy (which requires an entirely different test).
While this blood test isn’t necessarily a bad place to start, it isn’t a conclusive test that will tell you whether or not you are intolerant to gluten.
Sadly, many modern conventional doctors still make this mistake. If your doctor tries to neatly encapsulate the entire diagnosis of gluten intolerance with a simple one-time blood test, encourage him or her to study the latest research conducted by Dr. Alesssio Fasano, director for the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.
Dr. Fasano is an established and respected member of the medical community and even the most skeptical and jaded conventional doctors should appreciate his research and perspective.
You can also learn more about the testing process on my gluten intolerance testing post, which offers a more comprehensive discussion on the entire testing process.