Monday, April 27, 2009

At-home test for Celiac Disease

In response to many people's difficulty convincing their doctors to test them for celiac disease (lord knows I've been there), 2G Pharma has created an at-home test! It has been used successfully in Canada and Europe, and is soon coming to the US - sometime in 2009!

For about 50 bucks, The Biocard Celiac Test measures the presence of antibodies in the blood. Certain antibodies in a person’s blood indicate whether or not the body is having an immune system response to the presence of some foreign substance (gluten).

The test is simple and quick to administer! Watch the company's video to see how it works.

To take the test, start by setting up all of the different parts of the kit. Gently massage your index finger to drive blood to it. Then wipe your finger with an alcohol swab and let it dry. Prick your clean fingertip with the lancet that is included in the test kit. It is a very small needle, so it is practically painless. Gently press the blood out of your fingertip into the vile and mix it with the included buffer solution. Turn the vile upside down and mix the blood and buffer together. Then squeeze three drops of the blood/buffer liquid into the sample holder. Wait 10 minutes to read results.

The Biocard Celiac Test is positive if you have two red lines on the test card. One red line appears in the control field, which indicates that you have done the test correctly. The second red line will only appear if you are having an immune system response to the gluten protein. If the test comes out positive for celiac disease, the makers of the test recommend consulting with a doctor to confirm the diagnosis with an intestinal biopsy.

According to the creators at 2G Pharma Inc., the test is as accurate as a tissue transglutaminase (tTG) laboratory test that your doctor would request and uses the same technology to detect specific IgA antibodies that react with tissue transglutaminase (tTG), a well known indicator of celiac disease.

Additionally, a study published in the British Medical Journal found that the simple rapid antibody test allowed nurses working in primary care medical offices to detect celiac disease in patients who were not picked up during routine clinical care. The study evaluated 2,690 children around six years old and 120 nurses. The study found 31 newly diagnosed celiac patients. The rapid test accurately detected celiac disease in 30 of the 31 patients.

The Biocard Celiac Test is an amazing development! It will allow for much easier diagnosis and for mass testing, especially for family members of those with celiac disease. I'll keep you posted as to when it will be available to us.

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