Iron and folate anemia are seen more often in people with celiac disease because these nutrients are absorbed in the upper parts of the small intestine, where damage can occur in the early stages of celiac disease. As the disease progresses, the lower part of the small intestine can also become damaged, which may cause vitamin B12 deficiency.
After a diagnosis of celiac disease, a gluten-free diet will allow the small intestine to heal and allow nutrients to be absorbed; however, it can take between 2 and 18 months to correct nutritional deficiencies.
Eat plenty of foods rich in iron, including seafood, poultry, legumes, and dark green vegetables. Foods high in folate include eggs, fish, lentils, asparagus, and broccoli. Animal products like meat, eggs, milk, and dairy are high in B12, so vegans will require a supplement. In addition to a wholesome diet, consider a high-quality allergen-free multivitamin if you have celiac disease, and talk to your allergist about additional supplementation to help prevent and correct nutritional deficiencies.
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