Volume 4 Issue 3

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Untreated celiac disease can cause malnutrition — even if you've been eating a healthy, balanced diet. at's because you may not have been absorbing many of the nutrients in the foods you were eating. e real work of absorbing nutrients from food is performed by the lining of your small intestine – specifically by the intestinal villi, which are tiny, hair-like tentacles on the lining of the small intestine. When someone who has celiac disease consumes foods containing gluten, the body reacts by attacking the intestinal villi. Eventually, those tiny tentacles can be completely flattened, leaving them unable to do their job of absorbing nutrients. It doesn't matter how well you eat — if your villi have been destroyed by untreated celiac disease you're almost certain to be malnourished, and that puts you at risk for anemia, weight loss, osteoporosis and infertility. In addition, children with untreated celiac disease oen suffer from short stature caused by malnutrition. Probable Deficiencies for Untreated Celiac Disease Patients Untreated celiac disease patients may be deficient in these specific nutrients: 1. Iron. Iron deficiency anemia is common in people with untreated celiac disease, and in fact many physicians routinely test for celiac when a patient suffers from unexplained anemia, a deficiency in the red blood cells needed to carry oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, pale coloring, feeling cold frequently, a rapid pulse and palpitations. 2. Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium. e small intestines also absorb vitamin D, which is absolutely essential for bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with celiac, and the nutrient is necessary to properly absorb the bone-building nutrients calcium and magnesium. Adults with untreated celiac disease may lose bone mass and even develop osteoporosis because their bodies can't absorb these nutrients, even if they're consuming enough of them. Children, meanwhile, may not develop proper bone mass in the first place. Supplements don't help, because the body can't absorb them. 3. Folate. Folate, a B vitamin, is absorbed in the last part of the small intestine, an area that's oen damaged by celiac disease. Folate helps produce new cells, and is particularly important in pregnancy and early childhood. Deficiencies can cause folate deficiency anemia (which is different from iron deficiency anemia), along with serious birth defects such as spina bifada and anencephaly. Untreated Can Cause Malnutrition Intestinal Damage Stops Absorption of Nutrients By Jane Anderson Page 16| Abby's Magazine -

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