The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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Elevated IGA from Celiac Disease Test. I do not have Celiac Disease…

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by Astrongtower, May 28, 2014.

  1. Astrongtower


    Hello Everyone,

    I have a curious question. What essentially is Elevated IGA? I have look all around google and there is not much information on it.

    Let me tell you my story…

    I went to an Endocrinologist to check on my testosterone because I am 33. I told him I was feeling okay maybe not the best so he did complete blood work on me. I did tell him that my Father was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease so he went ahead and ran that as well.

    Long story short … the endocrinologist said that everything was perfect on me except that my IGA was elevated. His nurse at first gave me a call and said that this is probably no big deal and he just wants me to see a specialist. I was not understanding her so she just had the Doctor call me. He said that he had no idea what this mean and that “I would just not ignore it” kind of hinting that this could be a big deal.

    So then he refers me to a hematologist. I am like sure okay, and then I call the office and it is like, hello thanks for calling the Cancer Center … I was like what??? I have cancer now?

    So then the next day I went to my Primary Doctor and he did a blood test on me little under a year ago also test for Celiac Disease. I did not have those results but I got them today. They showed that I had elevated IGA and he didn’t even bother telling me about it. He was like it didn’t excite me; I guess meaning no big deal. He said IGA is such a basic protein to the system that it is just not that important. Only when levels are low is when people start getting concerned. His blood test just like the last blood test came back perfectly fine, literally everything else, the last blood work was like 1500 bucks, they must have had a field day checking on that IGA levels or something.

    I guess the Endocrinologist was wondering how someone would have elevated IGA and not have Celiac. He did confess that he had no idea what this meant and wanted me to see a specialist. It is just the way he told me that it sounded important and that he scared me a little bit. Also the fact that when you call the Hematologist they answer the phone Cancer line how may I help you…

    Anxiety. I think I really have anxiety I think. My doctor just prescribed me Lexapro. I have been acting such like a Hypochondriac and have been having multiple high level stressors in my life like going back to college, moving, marriage, in-laws, and not working.

    I could have sworn I read somewhere that high IGA could be caused by Anxiety and or allergies to which I have both to where I am living at the moment. I have a lot of anxiety and there are dogs and cats where I live and when I touch one I break out in hives. Also my skin seems to be a lot more sensitive than it used to be like when I work out at the gym and sometimes I will get marks on where I press too hard on stuff. Like one time I was bent pressing and got a couple of bruises on my back that went away, and recently I just did calves raises and had some heavy weight on my shoulders have very slight red line bruise so small doesn’t seem like a big deal but just doesn’t seem like this use to ever happen before.

    My Doctor says that I cannot lower my IGA. What if my IGA gets to like 5000 or something? My Doctor did have a very good point. He said blood test values are like a bell curve and that sometimes there can be outliers. I am currently in school and taking statistics so this makes perfect sense to me. He said that your body is just different in this area and this what makes you, you. If it was something low or critical we would take action.

    I guess what he is saying is that this outlier is a non-essential concern.

    Here are my results below…

    Results 05/2013


    Result Range

    IgA = 682 68-379

    tTG IgA = 8.3 <20

    tTG IgG = 6.5 <20

    Endomysial = Negative

    Results 04/2014


    Result Range

    IgA = 710 91-414

    tTG IgA = 0-3 <2

    tTG IgG = 0-5 <2

    Endomysial = Negative


    What is IGA?

    What does it mean to have High Levels of IGA?

    What is the worst case scenario of High Levels of IGA?

    How do I lower my IGA?

    Is this a precursor of Cancer or anything like that? Or is this simply an outlier like the Doctor says and is absolutely nothing to worry about?


    My main point is that I am going to my follow up visit in a week to the Hematologist and I know what is going to happen. He is going to say everything is absolutely fine. We ran a ton of blood work, not sure why that test was done, but have a nice day. And give me a look of why am I even here.

    I do not want to leave still not knowing exactly what this is, and that is why I posted this topic here. I was hoping someone out there could elaborate on this so I can know that this is not a big deal. Is there anything I can do? Should I be watching out for anything? You know. So please if you can help me out and sooth my Anxiety that would be great. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day.

    Thank You!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2014
    merylg likes this.
  2. Astrongtower


    IgA is the antibody that protects your gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract among other things.

    Oh, I will do that! I should see him at my next IVIG infusion on the 17th. Sometimes I don't get to see him but I think I didn't last time so I should see him this time definitely. I am kind of like you, I can't just let things lie if something may possibly be wrong. That led to me finally getting everything properly diagnosed so I could treat the problem, not just the sickly symptoms I had. Even if it is likely nothing I would do the same! And of course seeing an allergy specialist will help you get your allergy stuff possibly under better control so there could be a plus.

    I was tested for celiac disease but my test was negative, but I tried gluten free diet anyway and it made a huge difference to how I feel.

    I sometimes get lower abdominal cramps, that can last for hours to almost a whole day which seem to be wind related but again in the area of my small intestine.

    other so far unexplained symptoms I have are:




    muscle pain/fatigue

    pins and needles

    high blood pressure

    I am going to try to see my dr again 2moro, to talk over this yet again but one test I want is an MMA urine test to see if I have some kind of functional B12 defiency.

    Going Gluten free seems like quite hard work, but maybe its worth a try?

    You know these aren't "unexplained" right? These are the classic tell-tail physical signs of severe anxiety, especially when grouped together.

    But "anxiety" isn't an explanation, it's just a word for a group of symptoms. I think the original poster and a lot of others like myself are interested in understanding the root cause, which is something doctors are usually unable to help with.

    Well personally I think there's two aspects. Firstly, depression. My doctor suggested I was depressed and this seemed utterly obtuse. Then I took the NHS depression test, then every other online test, and every single one told me I was "severely depressed". For me, scary symptoms of what was then a genuine (but non-serious) health concern kicked all this off, and I understand it is well documented that those with depression can slip into severe anxiety following a traumatic event.

    In terms of the symptoms of anxiety, I think these are generally well understood. Certainly the ones in the quote above are.

    However the reason anxiety manifests in the first place, I think, is rooted in the gut. There's a massive correlation between GERD and anxiety, just as there is with ME/CFS, the physical symptoms of which are pretty much identical to anxiety. I recently read a book written by one of the members of PheonixRising called Autoimmune: the Cause and the Cure which explains a hypothesised connection between digestive issues and various autoimmune illnesses and how to overcome them. I've altered my diet accordingly the last week and feel a lot better. But I am genuinely suffering a post-viral illness as well as the anxiety, so perhaps this isn't relevant to the majority on here, but it's certainly worth a read for anyone.

    I have not read these diets you have suggested yet but I assume they are similar, no wheat? no hydro fats?, no coffee?, and more caveman style?

    I need to get myself on track diet wise again somehow, there was a period of about 3-4 days when I didn't eat gluten and went out for sunday lunch, after eating that I went straight to tired and headache within 30 mins of finishing it.

    as i said above I was negative for celiac.

    I will report back again later because I have made an appointment to talk to my doctor again on this subject, about the iga and b12 levels and about the likes of cfs/me, sle, autoimmune problems. The b12 one interests me a lot at the moment because I have had 3 blood tests show levels of 800-900 when the range is 300-600ish. I do not take b12 supplements, any multi vit or even eat cereals that have added vitamins, and practically all causes of high b12 have been ruled out so its a mystery.

    Although on some pages like pheonix rising I have seen it mentioned that the cause could actually be a functional b12 problem, the body not being able to absorb and use the b12 and it keeps getting exported back into the blood.

    I have tried mentioning this to my doctors but have been refused tests to check this so far, one test that I know of is MMA urine test. or there is blood testing for the active form of b12 rather then the standard blood test which is active and non active forms.

    I still believe that the b12 and iga results are linked, and most likely linked to the gut somehow.

    I'm increasingly of the opinion that most of these modern illnesses, be they mental health problems, autoimmune problems or cancer, are far more to do with the gut than we realise. Certainly the book I mentioned above gives some intuition as to why certain diets seem to work, which before now hasn't been explained.

    A good family friend who lives in one of the more undeveloped islands of the Caribbean was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer fifteen years ago. They don't have access to the sort of healthcare we do, so his only option was to educate himself and manage it with diet. He's alive and well and in better overall health than me!

    Just ordered the perfect health diet, Am I right in thinking this is a Paleo diet? I am planning on starting this weekend coming and staying on it.

    Where is the like button?!

    From my own experience with changing diet and from what I've read, I'd say you guys are definitely on the right track. I think things are changing and there is a lot of research going into this stuff. It's a shame it's not mainstream yet, but I believe it will get there. At the moment, I want to be ahead of the game, not told by doctors that there's nothing they can do for me or offer me drugs to cover up symptoms. I know that what I'm doing is working and there are thousands of other people out there who have been helped by this approach. A couple of good websites if anyone's interested:

    I forgot to mention the doctor I seen yesterday also tried to claim the high iga and b12 test results are "nothing" and just me, I do not agree with her in fact I think she needs to get an education as do most GPs.

    In her case she is chasing around looking for things on me which are 500,000/1 odds like Phaeochronoctyoma and not chasing tests which have actually showed an abnormality.

    I have had to do 2 x 24 hour urine collections after she wanted it done then researched how to do it and still gave me the wrong bottle for the tests....

    I do not believe they will find anything in this test.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2014
    merylg likes this.
  3. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

    Midwest USA
    LabCorp also only tests for a few types of antibodies and there are many more. So it's also possible that you just don't have the ones LabCorp tests for rather than not having celiac at all. I think it's much easier to just try a gluten free diet for a period of 3-6 months to see if it improves symptoms rather than shelling out for more expensive testing at this point because the testing has some limitations. However, Cyrex Labs does test for more antibodies and is an option.

    There are two types of IgA that are related...IgA in the serum and IgA in the mucosal membranes which is referred to as secretory IgA. It's a complex of two IgA molecules joined together.

    In celiac testing, IgA is measured in the serum to ensure that you are producing IgA. If your overall level is low, you may not produce enough antibody to react to the celiac antibody in the testing and thus get a false negative on the test.

    High levels are generally not thought to be an issue but occasionally it can be a sign of a more serious condition like multiple myeloma. But this would be EXTREMELY rare.

    Also, have you had your cortisol levels tested? With the anxiety and the bruising, it sounds like high cortisol might be an issue for you and would also affect your digestive function. A saliva cortisol test can sample your level across the day and is a much better indicator of cortisol status and rhythm in this case. I would personally check this out before I started on an antidepressant...
  4. Astrongtower


    Thank you very much, that was some extremely helpful information.

    You are correct my Doctors have told me that HIGH IGA clinical means nothing.

    I also went to a GI Doctor and he did run the newer more advance Celiac Tests and they all came back negative.

    I do have Digestive Issues like IBS that I am trying to figure out what upsets my systems but I have had this all my life. I just think getting a little older means it is getting a little more sensitive.
  5. antares4141

    antares4141 Senior Member

    Truth or consequences, nm
    Some of the probiotics (pills) I've taken seem to give me anxiety. Admittedly one time I was taking more than recommended. My theory too much of a good thing might not be all that good. I'll have to expirment a little more before I'm really sure the correlation is strong. Also taking them over a long period might render the same result. At some point I'm guessing unless something is killing them off you will be creating an overgrowth of good bacteria even at the prescribed rates. Which might not be a bad thing (or it might) in that it would compete harder with the bad microbes. The one trade off is this might cause some uncomfortable side effects or possibly worse. I really like Danon's product "dan-active". You can get it at walmart. I was drinking 6 a day with no overwhelming side effects. I just quit for a day because I've been going through a bad patch and started feeling better but that could be for a lot of different reasons.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  6. merylg

    merylg Senior Member

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

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