Dr. N reviewed the results of V’s labs and reports the following:
EMA IgA antibody is now entirely negative (was positive) and TTG IgA antibody continues to trend down and is close to normal (was 22, is now 14, with normal < 10) Indicating dietary adherence and mucosal healing. This is all very good news 🙂
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
Gastroenterology Care Coordinator”
Everybody say HELL YEAH!
You probably have no idea what this means unless you are familiar with Celiac. These labs are part of regular Celiac panel, something that V has to do at least annually, sometimes every 6 months. You can read more about Celiac screening, including the labs she had, here. At the time of diagnosis almost two years ago, all numbers were through the roof. When V did the labs about 8 months ago, her results were still elevated but significantly decreased compared to when she was initially diagnosed. We were supposed to repeat labs a couple of months ago but it got delayed because V had a major glutening incident: she accidentally had a whole regular bagel. So we were instructed to wait at least 3 more months to re-test.
All this time I was a little concerned. Were we on the right track? I knew we were doing well with food at home, but were we careful enough about cross-contamination? We designated a special area in the kitchen for regular bread. We acquired separate toaster oven and George Forman grill for gluten-free prep. But what if that is not enough? What if, despite carefully selecting restaurants and foods, V is still getting exposed to gluten when we eat out?
Dr. N – V’s gastroenterologist – reassured us at our last appointment that complete healing can take up to two years, and that it was normal to not see negative results until then. She said that if the labs keep trending down, then all is good. If the numbers are not decreasing, then she will recommend we see a dietician, because “gluten-free diet is difficult.”
Say what? Cue Amy Winehouse. I don’t want to go to rehab… I mean dietician. No, no, no. I won’t go, go, go. Been there, done that. There’s nothing they can tell us that we don’t already know about gluten-free diet. No, gluten-free diet is not difficult. We got it. It’s not the foods that we are giving V that we are concerned about. It’s the other foods that we may not be adequately protecting her from that worry us.
We can breathe a huge sigh of relief now. V’s innards are obviously on the mend, we are doing things right, and we don’t need to go to a dietician.
Also, major props to Dr. N for choosing the word “adherence” over “compliance.”