What Complications may Arise due to Gluten Free Diet?

If a patient of celiac disease is on gluten free diet, especially manufactured gluten free food items, many complications and deficiencies may arise, such as anemia (which is arguably the commonest dietary deficiency problem with gluten free diet). The problems associated with gluten free diet may be due to eating of food that do not have all essential nutrients, delayed or incomplete healing of small intestine, infection with Helicobacter pylori, Giardia and other bacterial growth in small intestine, eating of excess fiber which may bind to nutrients and reduce absorption of nutrients. Gluten free manufactured products may not be fortified with essential nutrients that are present in natural foods (such as cereals and other foods).

If a patient of celiac disease starts on gluten free diet and major part of the diet comes from manufactured products, the diet may contain less than recommended amount of fiber, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, iron, and calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

With understanding and appropriate planning it is possible to overcome, many complications and deficiencies associated with gluten free diet. The planning may involve taking gluten free oats at breakfast, rice (or brown rice bread) at lunch, and quinoa along with dinner, which can provide adequate supply of essential nutrients (proteins, vitamins and minerals). Taking liberal amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables can supply required nutrients as fruits and vegetables are gluten free and can be consumed without any risk.

As patients of celiac disease (also called Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy GSE) have high risk of suffering from nutritional deficiencies (unless properly planned for) it is a good idea to take nutritional supplements, which contain adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.

The nutritional supplements should contain vitamin-D 400 IU (international units), folic acid 400 mcg, calcium 500 mg, and other nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-complex etc. in adequate amounts daily.




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