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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 person with celiac disease may be unable to absorb minerals and nutrients from food due to damage to the small intestine from repeat exposure to gluten.
According to a 2022 overview of medical issues associated with gluten, celiac disease
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 4 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 check if they have celiac disease.
A person can receive their results quickly with most test companies 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 systemproduces. When the body perceives 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, causing the symptoms of celiac disease. Celiac disease tests will look for tTG in the blood and, if present, will 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-certifiedlabs. 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.
Below is a range of the best at-home celiac tests a person can consider.
Best for fast results: LetsGetChecked Celiac Test
|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:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified labs
- the nursing team is available to advise on abnormal results
- results in 2–5 days
- prepaid shipping
- accepts Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Savings Account (FSA) payments
Some disadvantages may include:
- requires internet access and a smartphone to activate test and obtain results
- expensive for a single test
Best for genetic testing: 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service
|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 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:
- includes genetic ancestry information
- provides a report on celiac disease risk
- FDA-authorized reports
- eligible for HSA and FSA payments
- does not diagnose celiac disease
- DNA ancestry information can be upsetting for some
Best for food sensitivity: Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test
|Tests for||immunoglobulin G (IgG) reactivity|
|Collection method||finger prick|
The Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test analyzes a person’s sample for sensitivities to 96 foods and food components, including gluten.
Everlywell notes that this is not a food allergy test and cannot be used to diagnose celiac disease. However, a person can use this test to see which foods or food components may be causing their symptoms. A person can also use their test results to work with a doctor and inform a diagnosis of celiac disease.
Each food has a rating on a scale of 0–3, with 0 “normal” reactivity and 3 high reactivity.
It tests for a person’s
To use the kit, a person must register it on the Everlywell website. They can then collect their sample and send it to the CLIA-certified Everlywell labs with a prepaid shipping label.
Everlywell states that a person can expect their results for most tests within 5–7 days but notes that it can take several weeks. A person will receive a personalized report, including their results and advice on the next steps.
Advantages of the Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test may include:
- tests for a variety of food sensitivities
- prepaid shipping
- includes a personalized report with results
- HIPAA compliant
- uses CLIA-certified labs
- accepts HSA and FSA payments
Cons may include:
- tests for one antibody
- cannot indicate a person has celiac disease specifically
Best blood test alternative: RxHomeTest Celiac Genetic Test
|Tests for||tTG IgA, tTG IgG, deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP) IgA, DGP IgG|
|Collection method||finger prick|
This test tests 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:
- 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
|23andMe Health + Ancestry Service||Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test||RxHomeTest Celiac Genetic Test|
|Collection method||finger prick||saliva sample||finger prick||cheek swab|
|Tests for||tTG and EMA||celiac disease risk from DNA||immunoglobulin G||DQ2, DQ8, DQA1*05, DQA1*03 genes|
|Tests for additional conditions||no||genetic ancestry, 150 health conditions and traits||96 foods and food components||no|
Gluten sensitivity is a type of gluten intolerance, and a person with gluten sensitivity does not necessarily have celiac disease.
There are many gluten sensitivity symptoms, which can last hours or days. Some of the
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 a person 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
Foods to avoid
Some examples of common household foods containing gluten include:
A person can eat the above foods if the label states “gluten-free,” meaning they have been made without gluten or have had the gluten removed.
A person should talk with a doctor if they are experiencing symptoms of gluten sensitivity, such as abdominal pain or bloating, and they 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 frequently asked questions about at-home celiac tests.
Are at-home celiac tests accurate?
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:
- infant feeding practices
- gastrointestinal infections
- imbalance in gut bacteria
- having type 1 diabetes
- having Addison’s disease
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 by 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 test 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 a person is 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.