Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Deamidated Gliadin Antibody

Does this test have other names?

Deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies, DGP, DGP-AGA 

What is this test?

This test looks for the level of deamidated gliadin antibodies (DMG) in your blood. Gliadin is one of the main proteins in gluten. The test is used to help find out whether you have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease.

If you have celiac disease, your immune system responds abnormally to gluten, which is mainly found in wheat, barley, and rye products. It's also found in common products such as lip balm, medicines, and vitamins. If you consume products that contain gluten, your immune system attacks and damages the tiny tubules that line the small intestine. If these villi are destroyed, you will become malnourished even if you are eating well. Complications of celiac disease include joint pain, thinning bones, anemia, seizures, and cancer.

More than 90 percent of people with untreated celiac disease have higher-than-normal levels of DMG antibodies, but very few people without the disease do.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if you have symptoms of celiac disease. Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, but common ones include:

  • Persistent diarrhea

  • Weight loss

  • Stomach pain and bloating

  • Excessive gas

  • Constipation

  • Stools that are pale, fatty, or smell unusually bad

  • Canker sores in the mouth

  • Itchy rash

  • Tingling and numbness

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Tiredness

Even if you don't have symptoms, your healthcare provider may also order this test if you have iron deficiency anemia or a deficiency in folate or vitamin B12. These deficiencies may mean that your body is not absorbing enough nutrients.

Other signs and symptoms of celiac disease that might trigger this test include:

  • Reduced fertility

  • Regular migraine headaches

  • Delayed puberty and growth

  • Short stature

  • Low birth weight in infants

Several conditions are also more common in people with celiac disease. If you have symptoms of celiac disease and have one of these conditions, your healthcare provider may order this test:

  • Type 1 diabetes or other autoimmune disorders

  • Down syndrome

  • Turner syndrome

  • Williams syndrome

If you have already been diagnosed with celiac disease and are on a gluten-free diet, your doctor may have you tested from time to time to see whether your body is responding well to the new diet.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider may also order other blood tests to look for celiac disease:

  • IgA endomysial antibody, or IgA EMAIg

  • A tissue transglutaminase antibody, or IgA tTG

  • Complete blood count

  • Lipid levels, for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides

  • Thyroid levels

Your healthcare provider will likely want to confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease with a small intestine biopsy. He or she may also do a bone density scan to see whether you have bone loss as a result of the celiac disease.

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.

Normal results are negative. If you are a low risk for celiac disease and have a negative result, it likely means you don't have the condition. If you are at high risk for celiac disease and have a negative result, your healthcare provider will interpret the results, based on your symptoms and medical history. He or she may do a small bowel biopsy in case it's a false-negative.

A positive test result means that it's likely you have celiac disease. Usually, your healthcare provider will do a small bowel biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

If you have been avoiding foods containing gluten in the weeks before your test, your antibody levels could be normal even though you have celiac disease. It's important to keep gluten in your diet before the test.

The test may not be as accurate in children younger than 2.

How do I get ready for this test?

It's important to eat a normal diet, including foods that contain gluten, in the weeks leading up to your test. If you have gone off of gluten foods because you suspect celiac disease, you should go back on a gluten-rich diet for two to 12 weeks before the test.

In addition, be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.

Deamidated Gliadin Antibody - WellSpan Health

Author: Purcell, Mary
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Ziegler, Olivia W., MS, PA
Last Review Date: 2015-08-09T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-08-20T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-08-20T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2012-05-24T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.