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Elevated IGA from Celiac Disease Test. I do not have Celiac Disease…

Hello Everyone,

I have a curious question. What essential 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?

Well I see the Hematologist and he gives me this look like I am crazy and why am I even here. He is literally baffled and acting shocked because he is wondering why this test was even ran on me. Well he says give me a minute and goes back into his office just to check the latest research in their system on elevated IGA and he said there is nothing on it. He presumes to say that I am healthy as a boar. He said that he is going to send my blood work out again to see if he can duplicate it and check for other stuff to because I was complaining about joint pain but insinuated that everything is going to come normal.

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

Solstats

Result Range

IgA = 682 68-379

tTG IgA = 8.3 <20
tTG IgG = 6.5 <20
Endomysial = Negative

Results 04/2014

LabCorp

Result Range

IgA = 710 91-414

tTG IgA = 0-3 <2
tTG IgG = 0-5 <2
Endomysial = Negative

Questions:

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?

Help:

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!
17 Responses
Avatar universal
IgA is the antibody that protects your gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract among other things.

In the medical setting I am in, we see elevated levels of IgA before someone turns up with either gluten-sensitivity or celiac disease. We tend to look at it as the body is in the initial stages of ramping up and fighting the incoming gluten - and it's doing a great job. But at some point it just isn't able to continue the 'fight' and the total levels of IgA plummet. Somewhere in there, we typically find that IgA-gliadin levels rise.

It can take many years for someone with celiac disease to actually 'show' damage in the duodenum that allows a doc to be suspicious and take biopsies that result in a diagnosis. In some cases, I've heard it takes up to 10 years. A lot could be going on during that time including the changes in IgA levels.

You might want to consider doing a gene test for gluten to see what genes you're carrying. It might give you an early idea of whether or not you're current elevated levels of IgA could be correlated with a diagnosis of celiac disease that may be made at a later date. Enterolab has a decent gene test. Take a look.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for responding. That does make a lot of sense. I have a question for you though.

Is it possible that maybe if I went gluten free now even though I didn't technically have to that it would give my system great re-leaf? And possibly greatly delay or possibly permanently delay anything worse from happening from continually eating gluten.

Basically could I lower my IGA levels back to a normal range by eating correctly and eliminating gluten out of my diet or is this impossible and my IGA level are going to stay where they are no matter what I do?

Thank you so much for your help and look forward to your answer.
Avatar universal
Anyone have any new information on high level of IGA when everything else is perfectly normal?
Avatar universal
Bump ...
Avatar universal
The only way you'll know is to give GF a trial and see what happens. If you try GF and retest IgA levels in about 8 months to a year and see a difference, you'll have your answer.

Avatar universal
It's not hard going GF, I did it only as a trial and then realized I felt better, seems I have been ill for a long time and did not know it. You don't need bread, but do take a good vitamin because you will need that. It took me 2 weeks before I felt really good. Gluten is in a lot of things, so read up.  
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