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Five Important Things You May Not Know About Celiac Disease
Celiac.com 05/15/2015 - People with celiac disease need to maintain constant vigilance against gluten-exposure. Even those celiacs who avoid gluten need to be on guard against nutritional deficiencies, and to check with their doctor when taking certain drugs.
Here are five important things to remember about celiac disease:
- Tiny Amounts of Gluten Trigger Big Reactions
For people with celiac disease, exposure to as little as 30 to 50 mg of gluten (about 1/50th the size of a slice of bread) on any given day can trigger damage to the mucosal lining of the small intestine.
- Nutritional Deficiencies are Common
Many people with celiac disease, even those who avoid gluten, suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Doctors recommend that people with celiac disease be monitored regularly for nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamins A, D, E, and B12, carotene, copper, iron, folic acid, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Doctors recommend vitamin and mineral supplementation, as needed.
- Bone Loss and Weakness are Common
People with celiac disease should receive regular screening for osteopenia or osteoporosis. If needed, they should receive calcium supplements to ensure that they are getting the recommended dietary allowance for calcium.
- Nutritional and Drug Malabsorption are Common
Gluten reactions cause inflammation in the small-intestine and, over time, damage that decreases absorption of common dietary nutrients, and likely promotes malabsorption of oral drugs or medicines, as well. That’s why it’s important for people with celiac disease to be monitored for proper drug and nutritional levels, and to receive supplements as needed.
- Celiac Disease Can Impair the Effectiveness of Certain Drugs
Based on their molecular properties, drugs currently under investigation for their absorption characteristics in gluten sensitivity include acetaminophen, aspirin, indomethacin, levothyroxine, prednisolone, propranolol, and certain antibiotics. Please check with your doctor before taking any of these drugs.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams