Did you know? May Is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and we’ve got you covered!
- Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that damages intestinal walls and means your body can’t tolerate gluten, the natural proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.
- 18-20 million Americans are gluten sensitive and over 15 million follow a gluten-free diet.
- Over three million Americans have Celiac Disease.
- 97 percent of those people are undiagnosed.
- It affects one in 133 adults and children.
Here’s What It Might Mean To You
Symptoms of Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort, headaches, lethargy, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity.
If a person with celiac disease eats gluten, the lining of their small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged. That hampers the absorption of nutrients and can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.
If you’ve suffered from any of these things and aren’t sure why, it is important to see a doctor for celiac testing before starting any gluten-free diet. Not eating gluten and then getting tested may result in a false negative.
What to Do
Those who follow a gluten free diet have an increased need for supplementation. Most gluten free foods are not fortified. Celiac also causes malabsorption of vitamins and minerals due to damage to the lower intestine. These may include Calcium and Vitamin D3, Iron, B Vitamins, especially folate, B6, B-12 and Fiber.
- 1. Folic Acid
Folate levels are lower in gluten-free products, works with B12 to make and maintain cells.
- 2. Vitamin B12
B12 deficiency is common, increasing with age, but even more common in Celiac. Some studies show a direct correlation between Celiac and B12 deficiency.
- 3. Vitamin B6
Involved in over 100 enzyme reactions, mostly protein metabolism. Those with Celiac absorb less of the B6.
- 4. Vitamin D
Very important for absorption of calcium. Decrease in the function of the upper intestines, common in Celiac, can compromise vitamin D activity and function and therefore absorption of adequate calcium. Vitamin D also supports the immune system and may also reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract.
Bone disorders are common in celiac disease with osteoporosis in over 25% of all patients at time of Celiac diagnosis and 40% with osteopenia. Risk of fracture is 30% higher. Many who follow a gluten free diet are also dairy free or lactose intolerant, making it even more difficult to get adequate calcium.
- 6. Iron
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common extra-intestinal symptom of Celiac. May be corrected after following a gluten free diet. Always get tested before taking an iron supplement and take at least 2 hours apart from a Calcium supplement.
- 7. Fiber
Often a gluten free diet is lacking in fiber as well, especially if completely grain free. A prebiotic fiber may be helpful for both providing added fiber and growth of good bacteria.
All Wellesse Supplements are certified Gluten Free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, gfco.org. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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