Posts Tagged ‘Wheat-free’

Two reasons for nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease patients

Dietary deficiencies associated with celiac disease…

Patients with celiac disease are at risk for some nutritional deficiencies. A recent study evaluated the nutritional status of over 400 patients who had been diagnosed with celiac disease within the past 3 months. They found that 12% had folate deficiency, 5% had B12 deficiency and 33% of the men and 19% of the women had iron deficiency. Celiac disease patients are also at risk of developing low bone mineral density (osteoporosis).

There are two reasons for nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease patients;

  1. The diseased small intestine causes lack of absorption of vitamins and nutrients, and
  2. Strict gluten restriction can also lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Many of the gluten-free foods are not fortified or enriched with vitamins or minerals. Studies have also shown that gluten-free products are often low in B vitamins, calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber.

Fortunately, there are blood tests that your physician can do to determine if you are deficient in any of the above. It’s important to be aware of what deficiencies you are at risk for, and make every effort to avoid these deficiencies.

The deficiency in nutrients does not mean a deficiency in calories. There is an increased incidence of obesity in persons with celiac disease following a gluten-free diet. The dietary goal is to follow a well-balanced diet, with appropriate supplements when needed, and an adequate amount of calories for a healthy weight.

What foods are safe to consume with celiac disease?

There has been much advancement to assist with complying with a gluten-free diet. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALPCA) requires manufacturers to provide more information about the ingredients used to make their food products, by specifying the presence of allergens on the product label, including wheat. Wheat-free does not mean gluten-free so you will still need to read the rest of the ingredients.

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