At-Home Tests To Detect Gluten May Become Available in the US This Year

Getting glutened is simply put – the worst. Each person I’ve encountered with celiac disease has their own symptoms, and some even have different level of intensities based on the food that he or she eats.

I know for me my stomach bloats up like a malnourished child in a third world country. With the bloating also comes constipation, and sometimes my skin will even break out in hives. (Fun stuff right?)

Some people though, especially those who aren’t aware that they have the autoimmune disorder, have symptoms that impact them internally – symptoms that don’t show any obvious side effects.

Luckily, detecting gluten in our bodies may be as simple as peeing on a stick by the end of this calendar year. That’s right, scientists and medical researchers are working on producing an over-the-counter test that can detect gluten in stool and urine samples.

Similar to a pregnancy test, GlutenDetect (in the urine test format) would give either a positive or negative resulted based on whether someone has consumed more than 25 to 50 milligrams of gluten within the previous two to 24 hours. The stool test version is said to detect similar levels of gluten as late as two to four days after it was consumed.

According to Beyond Celiac, 50 milligrams is said to be the smallest amount known to cause intestinal damage in those with celiac disease. Gluten is more commonly measured by ppm (parts per million) though in the United States. Food labelled with less than 20 ppm is considered safe for celiacs.

GlutenDetect was developed by Biomedal back in 2015. The Spanish company is said to be offering the tests in Barcelona as soon as next month. Biomedal, however will not be distributing these test in the United States. Rather, Glutenostics, plans to produce and sell GlutenDetect in the US in stores and online at some point this year.

No official price has been set for the product, but it’s estimated to be about $15 to $20 per test.

Keep in mind that this product is not approved by the FDA. It is also not a realistic way to treat your celiac disease by any means. It cannot help the uncertainty of knowing where specifically the traces of gluten came from. But, I will say it is a start.

Those with gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease should still continue to use food diaries, the tTG test, and follow up biopsies to keep an eye on their gastrointestinal health.