If you have a parent, sibling, or child with celiac disease, you should be tested for it, even if you don’t have symptoms or signs of it, according to a recent review article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Diagnosing (initially via a blood test) and treating this genetic autoimmune disease can help prevent intestinal damage and serious complications. Up to 1 percent of the U.S. population has celiac disease, which is triggered by gluten (a protein in wheat, rye, and some other grains), but first-degree family members of people with the disease have about a 10 to 15 percent chance of developing it.
Some people without celiac disease also have adverse effects after consuming gluten, which are similar to the gastrointestinal symptoms of celiac disease.
Thus, it’s important to get diagnosed if you think you have a problem with gluten. Don’t go on a gluten-free diet before being tested for celiac disease, since that can interfere with the results.
Also see Should You Worry About Wheat?