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In celiac disease, the immune system reacts to gluten exposure and attacks the tissues in the gut, causing inflammation and damage to the small intestine. At-home celiac tests will report on a range of antibodies or test for food sensitivities.

A quick look at 6 of the best at-home celiac tests

A person with celiac disease may be unable to absorb minerals and nutrients from food due to damage to the small intestine from repeated exposure to gluten.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) explains that the symptoms of celiac disease can be diverse and may come and go. Symptoms can include bloating, chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, and lactose intolerance.

According to a 2022 overview of medical issues associated with gluten, celiac disease mainly occurs in people with Northern European ancestry between the ages of 10–40 years. The authors recommend that people with these symptoms get tested for the condition.

A person can use an at-home celiac test to check for antibodies associated with celiac disease. Genetic tests can also look for variations in a person’s DNA associated with celiac disease.

This article looks at four of the best at-home celiac tests a person can consider, discusses the symptoms of gluten sensitivity, and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about celiac tests.

A celiac at-home test kit tests an individual, usually via a finger-prick test, to help determine whether they have celiac disease.

With most test companies, a person can receive their results quickly and can often access them remotely through online portals.

These tests can help a person understand what may be causing any digestive symptoms they are experiencing.

However, a person should always discuss their at-home celiac test results with a doctor, who will be able to give an accurate diagnosis and advice on the next steps.

Most at-home celiac tests are antibody tests. These tests check blood samples for antibodies associated with gluten sensitivity, such as:

  • Endomysial antibodies (EMA): These antibodies consist of proteins that a person’s immune system produces. When the body perceives that it is under attack, these antibodies cause intestinal swelling and prevent nutrient absorption into the blood. As such, people with celiac disease usually have high EMA levels.
  • Tissue transglutaminase (tTG): In celiac disease, tissue transglutaminase is an enzyme that can change the amino acid glutamine into glutamate. This change can cause certain cells to recognize glutamates in gliadin peptides present in gluten as foreign. In some people, this can cause a strong immune response, producing the symptoms of celiac disease. Celiac disease tests will look for tTG in the blood and, if present, indicate that a person has celiac disease.

Other tests include genetic tests. These look for genetic markers associated with celiac disease. Those without the markers may not have celiac disease. Those with genetic markers are not guaranteed to develop celiac disease.

A person should always seek formal testing and diagnosis from a doctor to reach a correct conclusion.

MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria:

  • Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in CLIA-certified labs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for fast results: LetsGetChecked Celiac Test

  • Price: around $119
  • Tests for: tTG and EMA
  • Collection method: finger prick

LetsGetChecked is a health testing company that sells a wide range of tests.

The company states that this celiac test is suitable for people who have had digestive discomfort or diarrhea for over 2 weeks.

LetsGetChecked also notes that a person must have been eating a diet that includes gluten for 6 weeks before taking its celiac test. Then, a person must activate their test online and collect their sample.

The company advises that a person takes their test in the morning. They should then return their sample on the same day.

LetsGetChecked states that a person can receive their results within 2–5 days via an online portal. According to the company, a person’s results are reviewed and broken down by board certified physicians. Additionally, a LetsGetChecked nurse will call the person to explain any abnormal results and answer questions.

The advantages of the LetsGetChecked celiac test include:

Some disadvantages may include:

  • requires internet access and a smartphone to activate the test and obtain results
  • expensive for a single test

Best for genetic testing: 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service

  • Price: around $199
  • Tests for: celiac disease risk from DNA
  • Collection method: saliva sample

23andMe provides genetic testing that offers insights into a person’s DNA ancestry. People can use this information to build a family tree. However, a person can also get information on how their DNA can influence their health, including whether they are at a higher risk of developing celiac disease.

A person will provide a saliva sample for this test.

Their results will include 150 insights and a dedicated report on their celiac disease risk.

While this test cannot diagnose celiac disease, it can provide a starting point for a person to talk with a doctor about their risk if they are experiencing symptoms.

Additionally, a person should be aware that DNA testing can uncover information about their ancestry that some people may find upsetting.

The advantages of the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service include:

  • offers genetic ancestry information
  • includes a report on celiac disease risk
  • FDA-authorized reports
  • accepts HSA and FSA payments

Disadvantages include:

  • expensive
  • does not diagnose celiac disease
  • DNA ancestry information can be upsetting for some

Best blood test alternative: RxHomeTest Celiac Genetic Test

  • Price: around $149.99
  • Tests for: tTG IgA, tTG IgG, deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP) IgA, and DGP IgG
  • Collection method: finger prick

This test checks for two genetic markers that the company describes as high, medium, and low risk:

  • high risk: DQ2, DQ8
  • medium risk: DQA1*05
  • low risk: DQA1*03

These genetic markers can indicate a person’s risk of having or developing celiac disease. A person may wish to take this test if they have a family history of celiac disease.

A person must provide a cheek-swab sample for this test. Once a person has taken their sample, they must send it back to the CLIA-certified labs in the prepaid shipping envelope.

The company writes that a person can expect their results within 3–5 business days of the lab receiving their sample. A person will then receive a report detailing their risk of having celiac disease based on whether they have high, medium, or low risk genes.

The advantages of the RxHomeTest include:

  • offers fast results
  • does not involve a blood sample
  • tests for high, medium, and low risk genes
  • useful for people with a family history of celiac

Disadvantages may include:

  • does not ship to all U.S. states

Best for a cheek swab: empowerDX Celiac Risk Gene Test

  • Price: around $199
  • Tests for: tTG-IgA
  • Collection method: cheek swab

This test checks for HLA-DQ2, HLA-DQ8, and DQA1*05. According to the website, these gene markers can determine a person’s risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerances, regardless of what they eat.

People must fast for 30 minutes before collecting a cheek sample with the swab in the kit. They must then send the sample via FedEx. The company states that people will receive their results within 10 business days.

The advantages of the empowerDX Celiac Risk Gene Test include:

  • does not require a blood sample
  • accepts FSA and HSA payments

Disadvantages may include:

  • expensive
  • takes longer to send results than other providers
  • requires fasting before taking the test

Best for comprehensive testing: Genovate DNA Celiac Disease Test

  • Price: around $249
  • Tests for: DQ2, DQ8, HLA-DQA1*05, HLA-DQB1*02, and HLA-DQB1*0302
  • Collection method: cheek swab

This test checks for gene variants and combinations that can indicate the risk of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, such as DQ2, DQ8, HLA-DQA1*05, HLA-DQB1*02, and HLA-DQB1*0302.

The company states that the risk of a person having celiac disease is zero if all the tests return negative results.

To perform the test, people take a cheek sample with the included swab and then mail it to the lab in a prepaid envelope. Once the test results are available, people can access them online through a secure portal.

However, the company does not provide a time frame in which people can expect the results.

The advantages of the Genovate DNA Celiac Disease Test include:

  • does not require eating gluten for the test to work
  • tests for all HLA variants that have an association with celiac

Disadvantages may include:

  • expensive
  • does not state when people can expect their results

Best for showing a spectrum of risk: Targeted Genomics Gluten ID Test

  • Price: around $195
  • Tests for: HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1
  • Collection method: cheek swab

This test checks for variants that indicate the highest genetic risk of celiac disease.

After receiving the test, people must take a cheek swab and send the samples to the company’s lab. People can expect to receive their results within 3 weeks and can access the results online.

The advantages of the Targeted Genomics Gluten ID Test include:

  • tests for genetic dispositions
  • shows a spectrum of celiac risk

Disadvantages may include:

  • not available in all states
  • can take a long time to send the results

PriceCollection methodTests forTests for additional conditions
LetsGetChecked
Celiac Test
$119finger pricktTG and EMAno
23andMe Health + Ancestry Service$199saliva sampleceliac disease risk from DNAgenetic ancestry, 150 health conditions and traits
RxHomeTest Celiac Genetic Test$149.99cheek swabDQ2, DQ8, DQA1*05, DQA1*03 genesno
empowerDX Celiac Risk Gene Test$199cheek swabtTG-IgAno
Genovate DNA Celiac Disease Test$249cheek swabDQ2, DQ8, HLA-DQA1*05, HLA-DQB1*02, and HLA-DQB1*0302no
Targeted Genomics Gluten ID Test$195cheek swabHLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1no

Gluten sensitivity is a type of gluten intolerance. A person with gluten sensitivity does not necessarily have celiac disease.

Symptoms

There are many gluten sensitivity symptoms, which can last hours or days. Some of the most common symptoms include:

A 2020 study noted that study participants with nonceliac gluten sensitivity reported brain fog, headaches, and tingling. However, the study did not include a diverse cohort, with most participants being female and 47 years of age.

Treatments

There is currently no cure for celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Experts generally agree that a gluten-free diet is the best way to manage gluten sensitivity symptoms. Working with a doctor can help a person plan a balanced, gluten-free diet.

Probiotics are also considered useful for people with gluten sensitivity. They help increase good bacteria in the gut and help reduce symptoms of gas, bloating, and constipation.

Currently, there are efforts to create a vaccine or gluten-degrading enzymes that a person can take to counteract their gluten sensitivity and enable them to eat gluten-based products again. However, this 2017 study has found that further research is needed before either the vaccine or enzymes can be made available to the public.

Foods to avoid

If a person has gluten sensitivity, they should avoid foods containing rye, wheat, barley, farina, and other gluten products.

Some examples of common household foods containing gluten include:

A person can eat the above foods if the label states “gluten-free,” meaning they do not contain gluten.

Learn more about gluten-free diets.

A person should talk with a doctor if they are experiencing symptoms of gluten sensitivity, such as abdominal pain or bloating, that last for 2 weeks or more.

If a person has taken an at-home celiac test, they should also consult a doctor about their results, particularly if they suggest celiac disease, food sensitivity, or intolerance.

Additionally, if a person is considering trying a gluten-free diet or changing their diet another way, getting advice from a doctor can ensure they can plan a balanced diet.

Below are answers to some of the most common questions about at-home celiac tests.

Are at-home celiac tests accurate?

An older 2009 case report states that at-home celiac blood tests can be accurate. However, an intestinal biopsy is the only way to confirm whether a person has celiac disease.

At-home tests cannot be considered 100% accurate or replace a diagnosis from a doctor.

What makes someone susceptible to celiac disease?

The precise cause of celiac disease is not known. However, some potential factors that may contribute to developing celiac disease are:

How does a person know if they are sensitive to gluten without a test?

The only way to know if a person is sensitive to gluten is by getting a diagnosis from a doctor. However, people can monitor their digestive symptoms when they eat foods containing gluten.

Symptoms can include abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation, bloating, and brain fog.

A person can use a food diary to monitor whether their symptoms improve when trying a gluten-free diet for a short time. A person’s symptoms can improve within a few days or weeks after removing gluten from their diet.

However, a person should consult a doctor before making extensive changes to their diet.

A person experiencing symptoms of celiac disease may wish to take an at-home celiac disease test. At-home celiac tests check for antibodies and enzymes associated with celiac disease.

A person can choose from a range of companies that provide simple celiac tests with fast results that can indicate whether they are likely to have celiac disease or sensitivities to certain foods.

However, a person should consult a doctor to confirm a diagnosis of celiac disease and work with them to create a treatment plan.