Gluten Free Diet | Celiac Disease Symptoms | Anemia | Allergy

Gluten Free Diet and Anemia

by Allergy Guy

Gluten free diet benefits can include a reduction or elimination of anemia symptoms, particularly if you have celiac disease.

Anemia is a possible symptom of celiac disease.  If you have celiac disease and you eat gluten, the villi in the small intestine become truncated or shortened.  This greatly reduces absorption of nutrients.

Celiac Disease and Anemia

If you have celiac disease and you are not on a gluten free diet, your ability to properly digest food and absorb nutrients becomes very poor. One of the nutrients that suffers poor abortion is iron.

Iron deficiency, or iron deficiency anemia (also spelled anaemia) is one of the results of malabsorption.

Anemia among celiacs is such a common symptom that iron anemia should tip off your doctor to look for celiac disease.

Gluten Free Diet and Eliminating Anaemia

If you have iron deficiency anemia and you have celiac disease, than going on a gluten free diet is the best way to cure the anaemia.

After some months on a strict gluten-free diet, the villi in the lower intestine will begin to heal, and your body will once again properly absorb nutrients.  This means that you will also start to absorb iron.  Over time, you will absorb iron just like any normal person, eliminating your anemia symptoms.

Your doctor may wish to put you on an iron supplement to build up your iron levels while your gut is recovering.

What has your experience been with anemia, celiac disease, and a gluten free diet?  Leave a comment and share your gluten free diet experience with other readers.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Helen September 16, 2010 at 13:04

I have been gluten free for 3 and1/2 years. I hoped my anemia would improve but it has not. I get iron shots and also b12 shots. I am very careful with my diet. I hope one day I will no longer need the shots.


2 Erica September 8, 2010 at 21:49

Thank you for the comments,
I’m glad I’m not alone. I have a doctors appointment booked so I’ll let you know if I learn anything that could help you out as well.
Best of luck


3 heather September 5, 2010 at 18:58

I too have been on a gluten free diet for approx. 3 years. My neurologist has me taking b-12 injections due to deficiency and now my labs came back that my iron and ferritin are also low. She too just doesnt seem to put a connection to the two. I am extremely careful with my diet and cannot understand why my levels have not improved. Let me know if you find out any information and I will do the same in the coming months of treatment, it’s so frustrating, you want to start feeling better and think your doing everything right then something else shows up..
Take care and best wished to you


4 Erica August 27, 2010 at 15:41

I am a celiac and have been on a gluten free diet for about three years now. I gained a healthy an necessary thirty pounds and all around feel better since I cut gluten out of my diet, however my iron is still extremely low and I must continue taking iron supplements daily. I recently found out that I am also B12 deficient. I’ve read that if I’m not eating gluten niether of these should be low and my doctor seems oblivious to any connection between my celiacs disease and the deficiencies. She simply has me taking iron and B12 supplements instead of finding out WHY I am still iron and now B12 deficient. Any thoughts?


5 Allergy Guy August 27, 2010 at 16:27

THOUGHT #1: maybe you’re still getting tiny amounts of gluten in your diet, despite your best efforts.

THOUGHT #2: Find a doctor who specializes in celiac.

Hope that helps


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