No one wakes up one day and says “Hey! What can I do today? I think I will become a Celiac.” Either you are born with the gene, or you are not. Period—end of story.
The answer may not be that simple because some folks can have non-Celiac gluten sensitivity/intolerance or a wheat allergy. Each of these are a little different and should be diagnosed by a trained Celiac specialist who can supervise the diet. Other than a uniform, itchy rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis, one of the tell-tell signs of Celiac disease, the symptoms of all three—Celiac, non-Celiac gluten sensitivity/intolerance and wheat allergy—can be very similar.
If someone is experiencing symptoms, the Celiac specialist may do a genetic test to determine if you have the gene. If so, she may want to do further testing to confirm a Celiac diagnosis and the amount of damage to the small intestine BEFORE advising a gluten free diet. At any rate, the method of diagnosis and follow up care should be left to Celiac specialists who work with patients on a one-to-one basis.
The problem I have with good intentioned Samaritans such as those at one particular research center, which shall remain nameless at this point, is that they broadcast general advice that just may not be in the best interest of those affected with the disease. Until such time a drug is developed to curb the symptoms of Celiac disease, the current treatment for Celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. To advise doing a 12 week wheat/gluten stress test to confirm Celiac disease puts patients at risk for increased intestinal damage, not to mention making many extremely sick. Who would want to do that just for a positive confirmation? If someone has been off gluten for any significant length of time, a wheat/gluten stress test can place someone who is extremely gluten intolerant at great risk.
This same group made the statement via Twitter that “ . . . many patients, in particular adults, improve only partially on a gluten-free-diet, and this diet is difficult to follow, costly and