Gluten ID — New, Simple, Non-Invasive DNA Test can ‘Rule-Out’ Inherited Celiac Disease

Everyone enjoys the aroma and taste of fresh bread from the oven, and of course, slathered with butter— but, if you are the ‘one’ in every 100 people who has been diagnosed with celiac disease or among the estimated 30% of the population who are genetically at risk for gluten intolerance, the downstream health effects can be serious. Gluten, an immunogenic protein found in wheat, rye and barley is never fully metabolized by the human gut and therefore, remains in the small intestine for a long period of time. In people with a genetic intolerance to gluten, the protein triggers a self-directed and destructive inflammatory response against various body organs and tissues. This gluten-sensitivity reaction varies by individual and can only occur in people who have inherited the genes responsible for encoding the gluten recognition immune receptors, HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8.

Because celiac disease can masquerade for years as a diverse array of clinical disease, the diagnosis of gluten intolerance is often delayed—or never suspected. Celiac disease has been described as a hidden epidemic and tends to be genetically familial among first and second degree relatives, therefore, it’s important to understand your family history of celiac disease and learn if you might be predisposed to gluten intolerance. By learning your Gluten ID (genetic risk), the presence or absence of the DQ2/DQ8 genes can direct your next diagnostic steps with your healthcare provider to determine the cause your unexplained symptomology.

How to get tested

The Gluten ID test kit is available to anyone wishing to understand their genetic susceptibility and transmission risks—though optimally, the test would be best ordered by the person’s primary care provider as additional diagnostics may be warranted. The Gluten ID Test, developed by Targeted Genomics, employs DNA testing obtained by buccal cheek swabs to rule out the presence of the gluten-sensitivity genes with a 99% degree of confidence, HLA-DQ2/DQ8. Testing, performed at PacificDx, provides prompt and valuable information to those who want to understand disease risks for themselves, their children and family members. To learn more about celiac disease, you might find the following links helpful.

The Celiac Disease Foundation
National Institutes of Health — Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases