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  • Scott Adams

    Nutrient Deficiencies in Adults and Children with Treated and Untreated Celiac Disease

    Scott Adams
    4 4
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      People with celiac disease often have nutrient deficiencies, especially on diagnosis. Researchers are trying to learn more about their role in celiac disease.


    No salad for me! Image: CC BY-SA 4.0--Mostafameraji
    Caption: No salad for me! Image: CC BY-SA 4.0--Mostafameraji

    Celiac.com 07/14/2020 - Nutrient deficiencies are common in people with celiac disease, and closely tied to many of its physical expressions. Even though these deficiencies are potentially important, researchers don't really have much good information on their pattern and frequency in celiac patients, or on their potential usefulness at the time of diagnosis and during follow-up. 

    A team of researchers recently set out to develop an overview of nutrient deficiencies in children and adults with celiac disease, both upon diagnosis and after treatment with a gluten-free diet. They also sought to better understand the potential role of nutritional deficiencies in the development of celiac disease.



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    The research team included Johanna M. Kreutz, Marlou P. M. Adriaanse, Elisabeth M. C. van der Ploeg, and Anita C. E. Vreugdenhil. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Dietetics; and the Department of Paediatrics and NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism at Maastricht University Medical Centre in Maastricht, The Netherlands. 

    To compile their overview, the team conducted searches on Medline, Pubmed and Embase up to January 2019. 

    Even with high variability in the reported deficiencies, the team observed that nutrient deficiencies are common in children and adults with celiac disease, both at diagnosis and during gluten-free diet treatment. 

    Nutrient deficiencies can arise from poor diet, and/or reduced absorption due to intestinal damage. Most deficiencies can be reversed by long-term gluten-free diet and/or supplemental nutrients. However, some nutritional deficiencies are more stubborn, and some may get worse with a gluten-free diet. 

    The team's results highlight a lack of good evidence on the benefits of nutritional supplements in celiac management, which invites further study.

    Do you or a loved one take nutritional supplements to help support your celiac disease treatment? If so, please share your thoughts below.

    Read more in Nutrients. 2020 Feb; 12(2): 500

    Edited by Scott Adams

    4 4

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    I was diagnosed due to severe anemia leading to an endoscopy, and was immediately given high dose Vitamin D, iron supplements, B12 and calcium while going on a gluten free diet.  It took me several years and then dropping dairy and other grains to get my tTG below 4.  It has been 12 years plus since going on the diet and I've added some gluten free cereals, but I still take a "regular" multi-vitamin, B complex, iron and D3.  Are they essential at this point I can't say, the only one I stopped was iron and after having some leg cramps and restless legs I went back on it and they've gone away.  I haven't had a blood test in quite a few years.

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    I have been on a gluten-free diet for 15 years and still have vitamin deficiencies. Mostly magnesium, vitamin B's, and D. I eat a wide variety of foods and take supplements but still struggle to keep the numbers up.

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    2 hours ago, Guest Patty F said:

    I have been on a gluten-free diet for 15 years and still have vitamin deficiencies. Mostly magnesium, vitamin B's, and D. I eat a wide variety of foods and take supplements but still struggle to keep the numbers up.

    Have you had follow-up testing to determine wither your celiac disease is still active?  

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    59 minutes ago, Guest Lori said:

    I was diagnosed about 15 years ago. I’m on a strict gluten free diet and I am still anemic. I have to take an iron pill every day.

    My anemia resolved within a few months while on the gluten-free diet.  Have you had follow up testing?  Leading celiac centers recommend repeated antibody testing annually and a repeat endoscopy as needed.  You should find out of your celiac disease is still actively flaring.  You may have refractory celiac disease or another autoimmune disease or illness.   Talk to your GI.  

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    I have had celiac disease for more than 12 years. And I feel the best I ever have felt. I do take a woman’s multi vitamin and magnesium, calcium, D3, and lutein. I struggles with anemia but have had good levels for the last few years. Maybe I have filled the gaps. I hope!

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    Diagnosed in 1992. Follow a strict gluten free diet. Sometimes 20ppm is still too much for me.

    Blood tests every six months show that the following keep my blood levels as 'normal' as they are going to get after being anemic for years.,

    A regimen of 2 iron pills, calcium, potassium, D2 with zinc, turmeric, Coq10, Omega 3-6-9, multivitamin for women, vitamin C, vitamin B.

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    2 hours ago, Guest Aims said:

    Diagnosed in 1992. Follow a strict gluten free diet. Sometimes 20ppm is still too much for me.

    Blood tests every six months show that the following keep my blood levels as 'normal' as they are going to get after being anemic for years.,

    A regimen of 2 iron pills, calcium, potassium, D2 with zinc, turmeric, Coq10, Omega 3-6-9, multivitamin for women, vitamin C, vitamin B.

    My only symptom was anemia when I was diagnosed.  It resolved quickly on a gluten free diet.  Years later, I was diagnosed with my third autoimmune disease — Chronic Autoimmune Gastritis (which can cause iron or B-12 deficiencies).    This was found (Biopsy) during a Repeat endoscopy.  My small intestine was healthy, but not my stomach.  I learned that not all things are due to celiac disease.  Doctors tend to box you into a diagnosis.  Maybe a repeat endoscopy would benefit you as well.  Find the root cause.  Oh, did I mention my DGP IgA was highly elevated when I had that repeat endoscopy.  So, blood tests do not always provide a clear picture as to what is going on. Thankfully, my GI pushed for that repeat endoscopy (I resisted!). 

    Edited by cyclinglady

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    1 hour ago, cyclinglady said:

    My only symptom was anemia when I was diagnosed.  It resolved quickly on a gluten free diet.  Years later, I was diagnosed with my third autoimmune disease — Chronic Autoimmune Gastritis (which can cause iron or B-12 deficiencies).    This was found (Biopsy) during a Repeat endoscopy.  My small intestine was healthy, but not my stomach.  I learned that not all things are due to celiac disease.  Doctors tend to box you into a diagnosis.  Maybe a repeat endoscopy would benefit you as well.  Find the root cause.  Oh, did I mention my DGP IgA was highly elevated when I had that repeat endoscopy.  So, blood tests do not always provide a clear picture as to what is going on. Thankfully, my GI pushed for that repeat endoscopy (I resisted!). 

     

    3 hours ago, Guest Aims said:

    Diagnosed in 1992. Follow a strict gluten free diet. Sometimes 20ppm is still too much for me.

    Blood tests every six months show that the following keep my blood levels as 'normal' as they are going to get after being anemic for years.,

    A regimen of 2 iron pills, calcium, potassium, D2 with zinc, turmeric, Coq10, Omega 3-6-9, multivitamin for women, vitamin C, vitamin B.

    I was diagnosed in 1999. Damage from my undiagnosed celiac's was so bad that I had my gut resected twice, fluid drained from my abdomen, and my appendix removed because of calcifications. Took years to get back to what is now normal for me despite still having some trouble processing sugar. Now it's metagenics probiotics, S. boulardii, omega-3s + D, zinc, iron, a multivitamin and pepsin supplements every day. As healthy as can be now!

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    My husband was diagnosed in 2003 at age 59 after extensive testing because he was experiencing TIAs even after carotid surgery. Endoscopy showed the evidence. His doctors prescribed high dosage B-12, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium and a high dosage (high priced prescription) multi-vitamin. When the high dosage vitamin became unavailable due to some paperwork issues at the manufacturer, our pharmacist researched it for us and found that it was almost identical what is in a pre-natal vitamin - which costs significantly less as well - so he has been taking that instead. Their explanation regarding the TIAs was that he was so deficient in especially the B-12 and folic acid, in spite of being without significant celiac symptoms, because of the mal-absorption from his diet of those needed vitamins, that it was triggering the TIAs. Our normal diet was rather restrictive because of some of my food preservative allergies and his heart history, so that perhaps kept most of the symptoms at bay for a long time. The addition of these along with a gluten free diet has kept him in good shape ever since thanks to a cardiologist who was determined to get to the bottom of the issue! Since then, 2 of my grandchildren have also been diagnosed after exhibiting mild symptoms (and being very aware because of the family history) and are doing well now that they are strictly gluten free.

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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