Celiac disease and calcium deficiency may seem like the makings of a boring lecture, but bear with me – I promise to add some fun! Let’s discuss gluten, calcium, and all their potential negative effects on your body.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects approximately 1% of the population. It results from gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, damaging the lining of your small intestine. Symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and fatigue may occur; however many people don’t realize that celiac disease may also lead to calcium deficiency which has serious repercussions for health.
Tendency for Gluten Free Diets to result in Calcium Deficiency
Following a gluten-free diet does not necessarily lead to a lack of calcium intake. However, some gluten-free products tend to be lower in calcium content compared to their gluten-containing counterparts.This is because gluten-containing products such as bread and pasta are often fortified with calcium, whereas gluten-free alternatives may not be.
In fact, a review of studies published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” found that individuals with celiac disease who were following a gluten-free diet often had inadequate intake of calcium and other important nutrients.
Ughh i know….Following a gluten-free diet is already challenging enough, but it’s important to ensure that your body is also receiving the necessary vitamins and minerals. Supplementation is a simple solution to help meet your nutritional needs and support optimal health.
What’s the big deal with Calcium Deficiency?
Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a significant role in the human body, aiding in bone building and tooth maintenance, supporting proper muscle function, as well as nerve transmission. When your body does not get enough calcium it can lead to various health issues like:
- Osteoporosis: Calcium deficiencies can weaken bones, making them more prone to fractures and breaks.
- Tooth decay: Lack of calcium also leaves teeth more vulnerable to decay.
- Muscle cramps: Calcium helps muscles contract and relax properly, so a lack of calcium may result in muscle cramps or spasms.
- Numbness and tingling: Calcium plays an essential role in nerve function; its absence may cause numbness or tingling sensations on hands and feet.
At first, the symptoms of calcium deficiency can be vague and confused with other medical issues. But if you’re noticing any of the following, consult your doctor about calcium deficiency:
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Numbness/tingling in hands/foot
- Difficulty sleeping
- Brittle nails
- Tooth decay
- Bone fractures
- Celiac Disease and Calcium Deficiency
If you have celiac disease and are at risk for calcium deficiency, there are steps you can take to ensure you get enough of this essential mineral:
- Eat Calcium-Rich Foods: Dairy products, leafy greens such as spinach or kale, and fortified items like orange juice or tofu all provide great sources of calcium.
- Take Supplements: Calcium supplements may be an effective way to ensure you’re getting enough of this mineral. Speak to your doctor about which supplement is most suitable for you.
- Take Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. If your body is lacking this vital nutrient, you could experience difficulty abusing calcium. Speak to your doctor about having your vitamin D levels tested.
Stronger Bones: Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones, so preventing calcium deficiency may help guard against osteoporosis and other bone-related issues.
Improved Digestive Health: Celiac disease can cause a range of digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain. By avoiding gluten and managing celiac disease effectively, you can improve your digestion and reduce these unpleasant symptoms.
Increased Energy: Calcium plays a vital role in muscle and nerve function, so making sure your body gets enough of it can give you an energy boost and less fatigue.
Better Overall Health: Celiac disease and calcium deficiency can both lead to anemia, weakened immunity, and an increased risk of certain cancers. By taking steps to prevent these conditions from occurring, you can improve your overall wellbeing and lower the likelihood of these and other health problems.
Increased Quality of Life: Finally, taking care of your health can improve both physically and emotionally, leading to an enhanced quality of life and greater enjoyment in doing the things you enjoy most.
Celiac disease and calcium deficiency are serious medical conditions that can have detrimental effects on your body and overall wellbeing. However, taking steps to prevent or manage them can have many advantages such as stronger bones, improved digestive health, increased energy levels, better overall wellbeing and an improved quality of life. By eating calcium-rich foods, taking supplements, avoiding gluten and working with your doctor on managing these conditions you can improve your wellbeing immensely – so don’t delay – start taking care of yourself today!
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Discover everything you need to know about celiac disease, its health impacts, and expert tips and tricks from a family of four who have experienced it firsthand.