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Celiac Center

The Jefferson Celiac Center is Philadelphia's first adult center with a multidisciplinary approach to celiac disease. Specialists of the Jefferson Celiac Center have a long history of excellence in the diagnosis and management of celiac disease as well as extensive experience in helping patients manage this lifelong condition. Our mission is to:

  • Improve diagnosis and management of celiac disease and associated conditions by centering your care around a core network of specialists
  • Advance scientific knowledge of celiac disease through extensive research and clinical trials
  • Educate physicians, patients and families about celiac disease
  • Support patient advocacy by increasing public awareness

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Although it affects more than 3 million Americans, celiac disease is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Our team of physicians and pathologists who specialize in celiac disease and other digestive diseases will perform blood tests to determine if elevated levels of certain antibodies – that is, proteins that target the body's own cells or tissues – are present in your body. We will also take another type of blood test to check for IgA – something that occurs more commonly with celiac disease and can affect the reliability of the antibody testing.

If your blood tests and symptoms suggest celiac disease, the next step is typically an upper endoscopy with small bowel biopsy – the best way to confirm a diagnosis of celiac. You will benefit from Jefferson's state-of-the-art technologies, allowing previously unobtainable access to the entire small intestine to also aid in the diagnosis of your condition. The most current radiologic imaging with MRI and CT and advanced endoscopic procedures – including capsule endoscopy, single and double balloon enteroscopy and spiral enteroscopy – are all available at Jefferson. These allow both visualization and biopsy of the small intestine.

What Happens After a Celiac Disease Diagnosis?

Once you have been diagnosed with celiac, you will need to follow a gluten-free diet. Our Center has a dedicated registered dietician who will help you adopt and follow a gluten-free diet. Although each individual is unique, in general, it is advisable that you visit your celiac specialist at least once a year for routine follow-up and preventative care. And if you are a first-degree relative of a family member with celiac disease, genetic testing can help determine whether or not an at-risk person carries the genes responsible for celiac disease.

Testing Medications to Manage Celiac Disease

Our Center has been among only a handful participating in the testing of promising new orally administered drugs, including medications to decrease or block the absorption of gluten. There is great promise of achieving a medication to moderate celiac disease at the cellular level. Learn how you can be involved in a celiac disease study.

Make an Appointment at the Celiac Center

To schedule an appointment at the Jefferson Celiac Center, please call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669).

For questions about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, please call 215-9CELIAC (215-923-5422).