Celiac Disease: Gluten Free Diet (cont.)
Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
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
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).
There are two reasons for nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease patients;
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.
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Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Symptoms Question: Describe the symptoms associated with celiac disease, or the symptoms that caused you to change to a gluten-free diet.
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Diagnosis Question: Describe the tests and exams you had that led to a diagnosis of celiac disease.
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Dietary Restrictions Question: If you omit gluten from your diet, what foods do you no longer eat, or eat in moderation?
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Safe Foods Question: If you are on a gluten-free diet, what foods are OK to eat? What new foods have you added to your diet?
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