During Celiac Awareness Month in May, I wrote about the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness' renewed push to encourage our relatives to get tested for celiac.
Since celiac disease is a genetic condition, if you have it, there's a good chance that some family members also have it, or at least have the gene for it. Remember, the gene can be dormant for years before something triggers it and you develop celiac disease, and researchers still don't have a solid handle on how the trigger works.
Over the weekend, I was reading an article in Gluten Free Living magazine about celiac testing written by Amy Leger, who writes one of the best blogs out there (thesavvyceliac.com).
Amy doesn't have celiac herself but because so many family members have it, including her daughter (which is why she started the blog), she kept getting herself tested to see if she did have it.
Recently, she decided to take the testing a step further and have a gene test to confirm that she carried the celiac genes, even if they hadn't been triggered. She was quite surprised to find she didn't. I don't completely understand the science but apparently, the celiac genes are actually a combination of genes, so it is possible for parents to pass the right combination on to their children without having the combination themselves.
Anyway, the point of the story is that if you have relatives who are concerned that they may develop celiac later in life, it might be worth their while to get the genetic test (although it can be expensive). As Amy said, now that she knows she doesn't have the genes, she doesn't have to get any more tests to determine if she has celiac. She won't ever have it.
For more information, read the full story in Gluten Free Living.