In late 2017, a new tool— Gluten Detective— was introduced onto the market. This tool allows a person to rapidly test their gluten level at home to see if they have accidentally consumed gluten without knowing.
Before Gluten Detective, the only tests available would show if a person had been eating gluten over a long period of time, said David Winternheimer, CEO of Glutenostics LLC, the U.S. and Canadian entity for the test. There were no good tests for monitoring whether a person had consumed smaller amounts of gluten and how recently, he said.
This at-home test, the first of its kind, can help people who are trying to avoid gluten in their diet and allow them to determine if they are actually successful.
When a person has celiac disease, even a crouton crumb that accidentally cross contaminates a salad can cause intestinal damage and uncomfortable symptoms for three days straight, so being able to test for gluten at home leads to peace of mind, Geller said.
The Gluten Detective test can be purchased for $22.50 plus shipping at glutendetective.com. Urine and stool tests are available. The “poop test,” as Winternheimer referred to it, is more sensitive than “the pee test” because it picks up 50 mg of gluten, which is like a crumb of bread. The pee test detects 500 mg of gluten, which is more like a bite or two of bread. Gluten that a person consumes within the past 24 hours will get picked up on the pee test. The more sensitive poop test will pick up gluten consumed within the past two to three days, Winternheimer said.
The test is useful for a person whose blood serology (antibodies to gluten) are slightly elevated and never normalized back down, Winternheimer said. This population of patients can use the test to ascertain whether they are continuing to get gluten in their diet. It is also useful for caregivers of children to determine if they are successfully avoiding gluten when away from home. It may also benefit adults who try a new restaurant and then do not feel well the next day. They might want to check whether they accidentally ate a food with gluten.
Boone, who has used Gluten Detective, said it was convenient to be able to test from the comfort of her own home and to get the results within five to 10 minutes.
In a survey of 200 customers, of which 95 percent had celiac disease, 90 percent said they would recommend it to others. A study at Boston Children’s Hospital is currently underway assessing whether having access to the in-home test will improve children’s diets.