Are regular check-ups necessary after the diagnois?
In fact, if no doubts exist regarding the original diagnosis, it is not considered necessary to verify the normalisation of the intestine by biopsy. However, it is advisable for the patient to have periodic checkups at a specialised centre. There, certain laboratory tests can help to indicate the patient’s health status.
These include in particular:
- indicators for iron metabolism (blood count, serum iron and ferritin). Any persistent iron deficiency can be addressed with an oral supplement;
- anti-tTG antibodies. If positive, this test indicates poor attention to the diet;
- tests for the early diagnosis of existing or suspected autoimmune pathologies (especially for the detection of antithyroglobulin and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies, indicators of thyroiditis).
The monitoring of osteoporosis by means of bone density tests is indicated in cases that were diagnosed late, particularly in female subjects. For people who show a marked increase in weight between check-ups, basic metabolic tests (total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose) are indicated. For immediate family members (children, brothers, sisters and parents) of a patient, the risk of having the coeliac condition – approximately one in ten – is ten times greater than for the general population. For this reason, even if family members appear to be in good health, they should be tested for the coeliac markers (anti-tTG antibodies and possibly the HLA-DQ2/DQ8 genotype).