Also called celiac disease, gluten intolerance affects nearly 1% of the population. Fatigue, anemia, alternation of constipation and diarrhea, irregular periods … it is often underdiagnosed due to disparate symptoms and often not very evocative. Sometimes even no symptoms are noticeable. Home screening tests can help prevent this autoimmune disease.
These self-tests are diagnostic devices in vitro available without a prescription, in pharmaciese and on the internet. They allow you to know, at home, if you are gluten intolerant. Important information to know before starting a gluten free diet, because if the latter is vital for people who suffer from celiac disease, some people often adopt it wrongly. Now this diet is restrictive, expensive and can lead to deficiencies when it is badly driven
How do home tests work?
All these self-testing kits look for the presence, in the blood, ofantibody that people with celiac disease produce in response to the ingestion of gluten. There is a disinfection wipe, a needle to prick your fingertip, a thin rod to collect the drop of blood that forms, a bottle containing a liquid that is used to dilute this drop of blood, and a case on which the drop of diluted blood is applied.
After 5 to 15 min, the result is displayed. If it is “positive” it means that you most likely have celiac disease. If it is “negative”, it is most likely not.
Interesting and relatively reliable devices
“These tests are useful for people who suspect gluten intolerance, whether because of symptoms (daily diarrhea, bloating, weight loss …), or because a first-degree relative (parent, brother or sister) has it, in order to verify its existence “, explains Prof. Christophe Cellier. If they are slightly less reliable than laboratory tests and can also be misinterpreted and give false negative results, of the order of 0 to 27% depending on the studies and tests studied *, Prof. Cellier considers that “it is better to use them than to start a gluten-free diet without a preliminary test “.
In the event of a positive result, this will be confirmed by a blood test analyzed in the laboratoryor even by fibroscopy.
A negative result may mean hypersensitivity to gluten, a condition whose mechanisms are still poorly understood. Symptoms usually go away with a gluten-free diet. If they persist, a consultation with his general practitioner is necessary.
When is the right time to take a test?
It is important to use tests before eliminating gluten from your plate. “The antibodies that allow celiac disease to be detected do indeed disappear with the follow-up of a strict gluten-free diet”, underlines Prof. Cellier. This precaution is therefore essential for do not distort the result.
Self-tests are also interesting after a diagnosis of celiac disease. A positive result testifies to the presence of foods containing gluten which should be excluded. But again, a negative result can be reassuring: “The tests detect big feeding errors, but not the small ones “, explains the specialist.
Four self-tests to detect gluten intolerance
We have selected those whose instructions are written in French and which are available in pharmacies, a pledge of security. Other tests are sold on the internet but their instructions are written in English.
- 2nd generation gluten self-test, from the AAZ laboratory. € 19.90. 5 to 10 min. This test is the only one to look for the same antibodies as the celiac disease screening recommended by the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS). For Prof. Cellier, this is the most reliable: “The search for total IgA antibodies makes it possible to reduce the risk of a false negative result.” He looks for two types of antibodies: anti-transglutaminase IgA and total IgA.
- Exacto, from the Biosynex laboratory. € 11.90. 10 minutes. Some studies suggest high efficacy with this type of antibody. But they are carried out by the laboratories that market these tests, and this search for antibodies is not recommended by the HAS. He looks for two types of antibodies: IgA and IgG anti-deamidated gliadins.
- Véroval, from the Hartmann laboratory. € 17.70. 10 minutes. With this test, the risk of getting a false negative result is higher. It looks for a type of antibody: IgA anti-transglutaminases.
- Gluten’Alarm, from the Medisur laboratory. € 12. 15 min. With this test, the risk of getting a false negative result is higher. It looks for a type of antibody: IgA anti-transglutaminases.
What about genetic self-tests? American companies like 23andMe offer genetic self-tests for diagnosing celiac disease. But they are far from reliable. and for good reason: 25% of the population carries predisposition genes sought by these tests, but only 1% develops the disease.