One of the first symptoms I had of celiac disease was anemia. I still have to take an iron supplement daily, since my body has trouble absorbing nutrients from food even though I follow a strict gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease causes damage to the small intestine that leads to malnutrition and non-absorption of vital nutrients. Iron is one of the main mineral deficiencies seen in people with celiac disease.
According to Baylor University Medical Center research, it is not unusual for patients to continue to be a risk of developing anemia even if they are following a gluten-free diet.
Not only does anemia make you feel really bad, it can also be life-threatening. It is very important for anyone with celiac disease to have their iron levels checked on a regular basis.
The symptoms of anemia include weakness, headaches, dizziness, breathing problems and pale skin. A complete blood count (CBC) test is necessary to diagnose anemia. If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor so you can get the test.
For people with celiac disease, staying on a gluten-free diet is important because it decreases the chances of malabsorption. It may be necessary to make other dietary changes such as increasing the amount of iron from the foods you eat.
Foods that are high in iron include red meat, especially organ meats like liver, egg yolk, oysters, dried fruits, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach. Iron supplements may be another option for some patients, but it is crucial to consult a doctor first. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.
So be sure to eat your spinach and get tested regularly!
You can keep the spinach, but I’ll have some of that liver PLEASE!