What can I expect after my patient's blood test?

The results of your patient’s blood test can help you decide the best next steps for your patient. You should get the results back in about 1-2 weeks and go over the results with the patient and their family.

If your patient’s blood test is positive for celiac disease markers…

  • A positive result doesn’t always mean they have celiac disease. It means your patient has blood markers for celiac disease.
  • Refer your patient to a gastroenterologist.
  • Tell your patient to continue eating foods that contain gluten. If your patient stops eating gluten, we can’t tell if they have celiac disease in future tests.
  • Note that one blood test is not sufficient to make a diagnosis of celiac disease. Your patient will need additional blood tests and a duodenal biopsy in order to confirm the diagnosis.

If your patient’s blood test is negative for celiac disease markers…

  • There is still a possibility that your patient has celiac disease.
  • Refer your patient to a gastroenterologist if they have abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, poor growth, weight loss, headaches, fatigue or other concerning symptoms. This is true even if your patient’s blood test comes back negative for celiac disease markers.
  • Tell your patient to continue eating foods that contain gluten. If your patient stops eating gluten, the gastroenterologist can’t tell if they have celiac disease in future tests.
  • If a parent would like to remove gluten from their child’s diet, refer them to a gastroenterologist first.

A note about gluten-free diets…

Your patient should not start a gluten-free diet until they are diagnosed with celiac disease. We know eating gluten is not pleasant for your patient right now, but gluten in the body helps us figure out if your patient has celiac disease. Advise your patients to talk with you if their symptoms are distressing or uncomfortable while eating gluten. If so, call the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment and we will do our best to get the patient in as fast as possible.

Rev. 03/2021. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used as treatment of any medical conditions.