Preventing iron deficiency on a gluten-free diet

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Children and adults with celiac disease are at risk for iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia (IDA), a particularly severe form of iron deficiency. Iron from food is absorbed mainly in the upper intestines, the same part of the intestines damaged by gluten.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world and children and women of child-bearing age are at highest risk of iron deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn't have enough iron to make healthy red blood cells.

Iron is a part of "hemoglobin," a protein which carries oxygen in blood. It's necessary to transport oxygen to cells, for energy metabolism, normal human growth, reproduction and immune system health.

Children and adults that are iron deficient suffer from fatigue, risk for chronic infections, weakness, get chilled easily, have a tendency to be pale and have difficulty concentrating which can lead to learning disabilities.

In the United States and in Europe wheat flour is fortified (enriched) with iron to make up for the loss of iron when wheat is refined to flour. But very few gluten-free flours and starches are fortified with iron.

Click here to read the full article including good sources of iron, an the iron content of gluten-free grains and pseudo grains.


Click here for more articles on the management of coeliac disease


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