Is gluten intolerence genetic?



Since discovering that both my brother and my son share my intolerance for gluten, I have decided to dig a bit deeper by having my DNA tested by 23andme.

I had my DNA tested by a couple of years ago, but this was for genealogy purposes.  23andme not only tests your ancestry, it tests for diseases and conditions.  I am wondering if gluten intolerance is genetic, and if so, what side of my family did it come from?

No one that I know of in my family had gluten intolerance.  My ex-sister in law’s brother had celiac disease.  At the time he was diagnosed, very little was known about celiac.  He could basically eat nothing.  He eventually succumbed to it because he was so malnourished.  Great strides have been made since then.  But it is still misunderstood, under-diagnosed and maligned.

Of course, testing your DNA for celiac is controversial.  Is there even a link?  Will it even show up?  I tested negative (blood test) for celiac about five years ago, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it.  Tests are only so good-they are not infallible.

There is some debate whether genetic testing will pick up celiac disease. Since I was diagnosed negative, it will be interesting to see if the test was right.   Before I send in my sample,  I had to answer a lot of questions about ethnicity, as well as past diseases and conditions.  It will be interesting to find out if any of my ancestors carried this gene.  If it turns out I am likely to have celiac, I will ask both my brother and son to be tested to see if there is any close family connection.

I will be mailing my sample out on Monday.  Testing takes about 6-8 weeks.  I will follow up with another post once the results are in.

I am also taking part in their voluntary research.  Even if I don’t have celiac, I would like to help others get a definitive diagnosis, if this is possible.

So stay tuned for an update!


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