How Much Does a Celiac Disease Test Cost?
A celiac disease is a simple blood test — the tissue transglutaminase, known as tTG. If this result is positive, a small intestine biopsy will be required to confirm the diagnosis. The blood test can be done either at an online lab or at your local doctor’s office.
How much is it?
- On average, the cost of a celiac test ranges between $150 and $500 if the test is done with an online lab. If the test is done at a local doctor’s office, the costs could be as high as $350 to $1,000. The difference in the cost varies with how detailed the test is and how many tests you plan on taking. A more detailed test will cost more while a less detailed test will be lower.
- For instance, the online laboratory Accesalabs.com charges anywhere from $8o to $499 per test. However, if you want to measure your Endomysial IgA, t-Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA and IgG, and Total IgA antibody levels, the cost of the test is $189. Keep in mind that this is a test through an online lab. The same tests done at a local doctor’s office could be twice or even three times the amount.
- According to this About.com guide, the average celiac disease test can cost several hundred dollars.
What is going to be included?
- When testing for celiac, the doctor performing the test will focus on the DQ2 gene, looking for the half heterodimer on this gene. The DQ2 gene has two divisions, known as the alpha (DQA1”5) and beta (DQB1”02). There are more than one thousand tests done on celiac in different laboratories today. During a typical exam, they will ask about your health history, perform a physical examination, take blood and gene tests and in extreme cases — perform a biopsy.
- The test is going to be either done by drawing blood or using a mouth swab sample.
- It is important to know that before taking a celiac test, an individual may have to experience a gluten challenge. People who pass the celiac test need to eat more gluten. This is because the test looks for antibodies in the blood.
What are the extra costs?
- An additional procedure, such as an endoscopy and biopsy, could reach into the thousands.
- If the celiac disease test comes back to show that you are in fact suffering from Celiac disease, then you will have to start purchasing gluten free food for your home and when you are out. While almost all grocery stores and restaurants have gluten free options, they are almost always more expensive than its gluten counterparts.
Tips to know:
- It is important to know that you can be tested for gluten without consulting a doctor and go through the process without any blood test.
- One might have a negative test for the two genes of celiac and still be sensitive to gluten.
- Most of the laboratories do not perform all the gluten tests needed; therefore, it becomes hard to ascertain the presence or absence of the celiac genes in the blood.
- A lot of doctors are not familiar with these types of tests. Make sure that you are dealing with someone who has experience.
- As of 2013, there is not a widely-accepted test.
How can I save money?
- The only way one can save money if diagnosed with celiac is not telling his or her health insurance provider. It is only by keeping it a secret that you can evade the extra premiums. However, if you want to have your health insurance cover it, most of the time, the tests will be covered if deemed medically necessary.
- Consider using a lab on the Internet. With these tests, you will have your blood drawn at a local lab and the results will be sent to the online lab. Once received, they will submit your results. Online labs are often half the price.