Celiac Disease: Gluten Free Diet (cont.)
Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.
In this Article
- How does digestion work?
- What is celiac disease?
- What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
- What are the dietary restrictions for celiac disease?
- Foods containing gluten
- Are there any dietary deficiencies associated with celiac disease?
- What foods are safe to consume with celiac disease?
- Gluten-free foods
- What are resources for a gluten-free diet?
- Celiac Disease (Celiac Sprue) FAQs
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Are there any 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).
Learn more about: B12
There are two reasons for nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease patients;
- the diseased small intestine causes lack of absorption of vitamins
and nutrients, and
- 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.
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.