It’s a busy day here with lots of Christmas shopping on tap, but I wanted to quickly point out some new research being reported in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. It’s on the seemingly up-and-coming saliva testing as an alternative to the blood test.
Researchers in Italy collected good saliva samples from just over 4,000 children between the ages of 6 and 8 years old. The were looking into the use of the saliva to test for anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) immunoglobulin (Ig)A — two common areas looked at during blood screening. About 1% of the children ended up with a positive diagnosis for celiac disease. Researchers concluded:
“…it is possible to perform a powerful, simple, well-accepted, and sensitive CD [celiac disease] screening using saliva.”
Two years ago, celiac.com wrote up a an article on research that at that time also supported saliva testing for follow up on patients to see if they were following a gluten free diet. I had similar research I put in a post on this website two years ago, but from a different source.
When I spoke last spring with Dr. Stephani Waldron-Trapp, a Naturopathic Doctor in the Twin Cities, she said the saliva tests do very well at detecting celiac disease. If you think the saliva test for celiac disease is best for you or someone in your family, ask your doctor about getting it. If you cannot find it at your regular doctor, you can always check in with a local Naturopath to see if they can assist.
Please keep in mind, if the less-invasive saliva test comes back positive, you or your child will likely still need to get the highly-invasive endoscopy and biopsy of the small intestine to know for sure. This is the procedure that is conducted after positive blood tests as well.