Celiac Disease–Annual Screening?
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Oct 5 2011

Celiac Disease–Annual Screening?

Once you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the treatment is a life-long adherence to the gluten-free diet.  There are currently no other treatments.  No medications.  Nothing.  Some doctors believe in yearly screenings to see if the patient is complying with the diet, while others feel that such screening isn’t necessary.  There are a couple of different reasons for yearly blood tests that I will discuss below.

First, a child who has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease may feel like he/she does not need to adhere to the diet.  They may cheat when at school or when out with friends.  This is more likely in older children/teens who are on their own more than kids under 12.  Routine yearly (or even quarterly) testing can alert the parents and doctor to any potential problems.  We are having quarterly testing done with Jon (who will be 16 in April).  While Jon follows the diet for the most part, he has admitted to eating a regular Pop Tart on a dare and he isn’t necessarily as cautious as he could be when eating out.

Secondly, annual screening may be performed to ensure that no hidden gluten is being consumed.  Some people have a problem following the diet for whatever reason.  There may be cross contamination issues at home, the individual may travel a lot for work and have to depend on restaurants to safely feed him/her, or they may be new to the diet and learning what is safe & what isn’t.  This is especially important for those who are asymptomatic.  There are many people out there who don’t get sick when they consume gluten or they may not get sick when they consume trace amounts.  For this reason, annual screening can help the patient & the doctor get a clearer picture of what is going on.

To those who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease: Do you get your blood tested yearly?  Weigh in below in our poll and feel free to discuss in the comments section.

Article Written by:

Kimberly Bouldin is a gluten-free wife, runner & blogger with two children in Columbus, Ohio. After her celiac diagnosis in 2006, she has made it her mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition in a gluten-free world, exploring options that run the gamut from "made from scratch" homemade bread to sampling and reviewing the gluten-free prepared foods that are continuously being introduced to the market. While navigating the waters of becoming gluten-free, Kim shares her experiences and passes along valuable product reviews in addition to helping other moms of celiac kids develop healthy menus that are kid-friendly and palatable. Kimberly is a valuable resource for those who are newly diagnosed, as well as for the more seasoned gluten-free veterans. Follow Kim on Twitter!


  1. Eithne says:

    My gastro doctor just brushed me off and scoffed at any follow up, the other doctors in the practice do not want to take me on as I am there partners patient! I know more about celiac than my family doctor!

  2. Cathi says:

    I have wanted to be res-tested, but the Doctors around me do not encourage it. I’m not sure if my insurance company woudl pay for it either, so I would have to pay out of pocket and look for another Doctor, who would re-test me.

  3. Anne Steib says:

    I had it done once the following year, but have not had it again since, so like a year and half. Though, I also know if I get even a little I will have a reaction. But I will get it done again soon just to be sure I cover that base.

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