On July 15, 2013, The 23andMe Blog featured our patient’s story about her discovery the part the genetic test offered by 23andMe played in her diagnosis of celiac disease.
The blog article tells how, “For Dr. Costa the approach starts with detailed discussions with his patients about their lifestyles and health history. As he develops a wellness program for each of his patients, Dr. Costa said he is thinking about prevention particularly for diseases that his patients might be at most risk.” Upon hearing about his patient’s symptoms, Dr. Costa suggested that she look into the genetic test, and her results showed that our patient had a high than average risk for the “autoimmune condition that affects the small intestines and is triggered by the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. It can sometimes be hard to diagnose. In [our patient’s] case, her years of stomach problems had been diagnosed as nothing more than “irritable bowels,” she said.”
“After seeing her red flag for Celiac, Dr. Costa performed a simple blood test that pointed to Celiac. He then did an endoscopy and provided the final diagnosis. A change to a gluten-free diet can alleviate the painful symptoms of Celiac and allow the damage to the small intestines to heal.
Because the disease is genetic, Kristen thought to have her three children tested. She learned her five year-old, who had battled her own stomach pain, had Celiac as well.
The simple diet change also changed her daughter’s life.”