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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Celiac Disease Missed as Cause of Iron-Deficiency Anemia

    Br J Haematol 2000;111:898-901.

    Celiac.com 02/15/2001 - As reported in the December issue of the British Journal of Haematology, Dr. D. J. Unsworth of Southmead Hospital in Bristol, UK, and colleagues examined 483 blood samples that were found to be anemic (hemoglobin

    Results: The researchers found that by screening anemic adults for celiac disease they ended up with a detection rate of 6%, compared with 0% detection of celiac disease using EDTA blood samples from 250 non-anemic blood donors.

    Conclusion: Celiac disease in menstruating women is under-investigated as a potential cause of iron-deficiency anemia. Celiac disease serology is easy, cheap and reliable, and the researchers recommend that all cases of anemia with an uncertain cause, including when the only cause is though to be menstruation, be tested for celiac disease-associated autoantibodies.



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    I have to take ferritin (iron) supplement because celiac disease apparently affects one's absorption of iron. Have noticed what appears to be clusters of hemosiderin deposits on feet near ankles.

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    I recently found out that I now have celiac, however with all that I am learning about it, I am realizing that I may have had it my whole life, but it recently just went into over drive. I am 46 and am perimenopausal, heavy periods, and am hypoglycemic, and anemic and that my hypoglycemia never went away after having my daughter due to already having symptoms of or early stages of celiac. I now suffer with headaches, fatigue, restlessness at night, nausea and heightened hunger pains, and almost no energy, or strength!

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  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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    Scott Adams
    South Med J. 2004;97:30-34 Celiac.com 03/30/2004 – According to Umaprasanna S. Karnam, MD (University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida), and colleagues, celiac disease is present in around 3% of iron-deficiency anemia cases. The researchers looked at all patients seen at the University of Miami for iron-deficiency anemia between 1998 and 2000. Iron-deficiency anemia was defined in their study as serum ferritin less than 25 ng/mL and hemoglobin less than 12 g/dL for women and less than 14 g/dL for men. Interestingly, patients with prior documented ulcerative or erosive conditions of the gastrointestinal tract or overt gastrointestinal bleeding during the prior three months were excluded (which means that many with advanced celiac disease would have been excluded from this study). Out of 139 possible patients with iron-deficiency anemia, 105 patients were included in the study (57 men and 48 women).
    According to the researchers: The prevalence of occult celiac disease in this prospective study of patients presenting with iron-deficiency anemia was 2.8%. A significant number of other gastrointestinal lesions amenable to therapy were also found on upper and lower endoscopy in these patients, the authors write. Given the treatable nature of celiac disease, it should be screened for in patients with unexplained iron-deficiency anemia with or without hemoccult-positive stools. The investigators recommend panendoscopy and screening for this treatable condition in unexplained cases.
    It is likely that had the study included patients with gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcerative conditions the rate of celiac disease would have been higher, perhaps as high as 5%.

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