For starters, iron deficiency anemia is a common symptom of celiac disease.
In case you were wondering anemia is a condition that results from either a decrease in the size or number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin, which is the red pigment in these cells.
What’s so bad about having anemia?
The red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen to all our organs, so if there is a shortage of red blood cells the oxygen cannot be properly delivered to our organs. Oxygen is essential because it is used to convert the food we eat into energy and heat. When the oxygen cannot be delivered, no energy is produced and we feel tired. Can you relate to that?
What is the link between Celiac Disease and Anemia anyways?
As you probably already know, Celiac disease is destructive and inflammatory and damages the lining of the small intestine, specifically the duodenum, which is where most nutritional absorption happens. Finger-like protrusions are responsible for the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, including iron. When damaged by the intake of gluten, these villi are no longer able to absorb adequate amounts of iron, leading to anemia.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac disease and suffer from iron deficiency anemia without clear medical cause, talk to your doctor about getting tested for Celiac disease.
Important things to highlight!
Once a person has been diagnosed with Celiac disease and starts a gluten-free diet, the small intestine will begin to heal and allow nutrients to be absorbed. It might take a while for nutritional deficiencies to be corrected, between 2 months and 1 year and a half, but don’t give up the gluten-free diet, the good results will come!
Vitamin C helps Iron absorption, so be sure to consume foods rich in vitamin C if you have iron deficiency anemia. Chilli pepper, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, broccoli, papaya and kale are known for being high in vitamin C. See other foods high in vitamin C here.
Once your intestines are healed and your body is absorbing nutrients again, ingesting foods high in Iron is going to help restore your Iron levels. Liver, seafood, lean meat, poultry, legumes, dark green vegetables and blackstrap molasses are high in Iron.
We are not doctors or health specialists of any kind, so always consult a doctor about your health.