I'm after advise on what you would do.
If this was me:
Firstly I would get the gene test done. You don't need to see a paediatrician - a GP can order all the necessary tests. This can be a swab on the inside of the cheek - so no blood tests involved.
If the gene test comes back positive (it may or may not be bulk billed, and can take weeks to come back), then I would put your child on a full gluten diet for 6 weeks.
I would then ask the GP for the Coeliac screening blood test. I would also ask for an iron test - as this might show up as being low, but it may not if it's only been 6 weeks.
I am a firm believer in having the biopsy done.
We first put our DD1 on a gluten free diet, and although we were strict with 100% gluten free, we weren't strict with cross contamination - well we thought we were strict, but we've learnt a lot from DD3 (her body has taught us.
If there's slight gluten, she'll be sick.
It is much easier to do the diagnosis at a younger age. Especially if the child is in nappies - because you will have one less thing they will be distressed about. It's also important to get that diagnosis before they start school or kinder - you might not have that support from staff, and your child might eat other kids foods.
In the long run, IMO you child is better off going through the testing now, rather than later.
If you don't have an official diagnosis, then you may not get support from family, friends and school.
With an official diagnosis, your child is also less likely to break their diet - because they will be pressured by friends to try other foods - so at least your child will know why they can't eat normal food.
Unfortunately, the blood test isn't 100%, and neither is the biopsy - the damage can be patchy and can be missed.
If you have a positive to the gene test, but a negative to the blood test, and your child has had weight loss once they are on it again, then you can push to have the biopsy done.
FWIW - my DD3 has never seen a paediatrician for her Coeliac disease. Our GP did all the tests and then referred us onto a Dietician. Whenever I have had other concerns, I have gone back to the GP and she has ordered other tests for us. (my DD still wasn't growing once she was gluten free).
Oh - one thing that would influence my decision on when to do the gluten challenge - if my child was in creche and / or if I was concerned about illnesses like the flu, then I would hold off over the winter months. Gluten affects my DD's immune system when it comes to other illnesses. Prior to being diagnosed - she was always hit worse when we had an illness in the house, and she took a lot longer to recover. She's had the flu and chicken pox since being gluten free, and once again she was the worst hit.
When she has trace amounts of gluten, her body becomes run down and 'weak' and she gets boils on her skin and is susceptible at catching other illnesses at these times.
Edited by ZombieMum, 10 April 2012 - 09:50 PM.