Living with celiac disease means that you have to live gluten-free for the rest of your life. Even if you welcome your celiac disease diagnosis with open arms, managing a completely new way of living can trigger a boatload of emotions. In this post, I’m …
Tag: gluten free lifestyle
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Dear Fellow Celiac Struggling to Stay Gluten-Free and even those of you who are non-celiac gluten-sensitive, struggling to stick to it, I see you.
Switching to an entirely new lifestyle isn’t easy and it won’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself, give yourself grace, and don’t give up. Even the best of us make mistakes.
Believe me, I know it’s difficult now, and while it will never be easy, this lifestyle does get easier.
It’s overwhelming, I know.
People mistakenly think that it just impacts your food but we know better than that. It impacts:
- Routines (beauty, shower, morning, night, etc)
- Shopping (especially grocery shopping)
- Cleaning / Organization
- Leaving the house for longer than a few hours
- Going out to eat
- Buying a morning cup of coffee
and so much more.
Suddenly things you didn’t think twice about, you have to triple and quadruple check. Suddenly going out to eat or having a meal prepared for you sounds more stressful than just making it at home. Except… what can you make at home that doesn’t require every ingredient under the sun just to not taste like a piece of cardboard?
Suddenly, you have to be on high alert about everything and just when you thought you knew all you had to know about staying safe, you learn about more things to watch out for.
It’s overwhelming, I know but you’re not alone. Dear fellow Celiac struggling to stay gluten-free, I see you. There are people out there just like you and me going through the same thing and they see you too. Find them, reach out to them, vent to them (my inbox is always open too), and feel heard. Support is ALL to important when coping with this lifestyle change.
Oh my gosh is this lifestyle lonely. I used to think I was the only person with Celiac in Columbus. Every time I meet someone new here with Celiac Disease or NCGS, I get ecstatic.
It’s so easy to want to isolate yourself. To say no to every invitation because the food situations stress you out. To say no because you don’t want to hold your friend’s back from eating where they want to eat.
It’s lonely because no one truly knows what you’re going through. The stress involved around eating at parties, dinner parties, and restaurants. No one knows how disappointing it is to see someone put their gluten hands into a dish of gluten-free chips, making it so you can no longer eat THE ONE THING you could eat at a party.
It’s lonely because sharing food with your loved ones is a social thing, a social thing that feels like it’s been taken from you. It’s lonely because your needs are met with resistance or ignorance from the very people you love, despite your best efforts to educate.
It’s lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Again, there are people like us out there, find them and reach out to them! Additionally, a health professional well-versed in Celiac Disease can help teach you how to advocate, educate, and convert people into your corner.
Dear Fellow Celiac Struggling to Stay Gluten-Free, I see you.
This lifestyle change that’s been forced upon you is not fair, it’s hard, it’s isolating, it’s overwhelming, and it impacts every aspect of your life. A life that you’ve been living for years – and now have to uproot and relearn how to live.
Dear fellow Celiac struggling to stay gluten-free, I see you. I am here for you. It does get easier, it just takes a lot of learning, mistakes, and time to get there.
Comment below something that you’ve struggled with related to staying gluten-free. Also please know, my inbox again, is always open.
I don’t like to call people Celiac and instead like to say, people with Celiac (or verbiage along those lines). However, for brevity and SEO’s sake, this post does refer to people with Celiac as Celiacs. Please know though, you are not your disease, you are not your lifestyle, you are YOU. You are merely just living with this disease, this disease is NOT you.
As someone striving to be an advocate in the gluten-free community, it has become apparent to me that there is a huge issue. There is a divide in the gluten-free community and it’s making us weak. It’s making people confused when they try to serve …
10 Supplements for Celiac Disease
When you have celiac disease, you are at risk for several nutrient deficiencies as you are healing your gut from gluten damage (which can take upwards of 1-2 years).
In this post I’ll discuss 10 supplements for celiac disease that people with this diagnosis should consider.
Why People with Celiac Disease Need Supplements
Celiac disease is a condition where when you eat the protein gluten (which is commonly found in many grains like wheat), your body attacks itself. Specifically, when you eat gluten, the villi in your small intestine are damaged.
The villi in your small intestine are responsible for helping your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and other minerals and nutrients.
More specifically, celiac disease impacts the duodenum which mainly involves the absorption of vitamin B12 and iron.
However damage, though not as severe in the duodenum, has also been found in the jejunum and ileum as well. This means when there is damage, you are at risk for deficiency for the following additional nutrients:
- Vitamin A, D, E, K
- The B Vitamins
Additionally, a gluten-free diet is often deficient in necessary nutrients and might require supplementation even after healing. Learn more about the 5 most common gluten-free diet deficiencies here.
First, I want to make it clear I am a huge supporter of the Food First approach. This means, I believe if you can, it’s better to get your nutrients from food rather than take supplements.
However, when you have celiac disease, sometimes it’s not feasible to take this approach. As your gut might be too damaged, you’re struggling with balancing your diet, and more.
Here’s another friendly reminder to check-in with your healthcare professionals to see if and what supplements are best/safe for you. This post is not meant to take the place of individualized care provided by your health care team.
10 Supplements for Celiac Disease
Commonly people who are diagnosed with Celiac disease experience iron-deficiency anemia.
Having Celiac disease and iron-deficiency anemia is actually very common.
In fact, anemia is one of many potential indicators of celiac disease because of the characteristic damage done to the duodenum of the small intestine impairing the body’s ability to absorb iron. This is why iron supplementation can be beneficial for celiac.
If you know me, you know I am all about affordability and ordering things through Amazon (convenience is everything y’all) so I like to order my supplements from Amazon (this is not a sponsored post though I am using affiliate links throughout this post at no cost you).
Surprisingly, Amazon’s iron supplement is gluten-free and vegan! SCORE
Celiac disease and osteoporosis: people with celiac disease are at increased risk for osteoporosis because of their potential impaired ability to absorb calcium if the villi remain damaged or were damaged for a long time.
The villi in the small intestine are responsible for absorbing calcium (among other nutrients) and if they are damaged, can cause calcium deficiency.
This means even if you are eating enough calcium, your body might not be absorbing it, putting you at risk for this horrific bone disease.
Additionally, to absorb calcium, you need an adequate amount of Vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin that people with Celiac disease are also at risk for deficiency in. Further putting you at risk for osteoporosis and calcium deficiency.
The good news? Calcium and Vitamin-D may help.
Magnesium is another mineral absorbed in the small intestine leaving you at risk to be deficient in this nutrient too.
This mineral plays an important role in our bodies such as blood sugar management, blood pressure regulation, maintenance of muscles and nerve function, and it can even help support the immune system.
The best absorbable form of magnesium supplement wise is Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Aspartate, or Magnesium Citrate.
Zinc is an essential mineral involved in several important body processes. Often people with celiac disease can be deficient in Zinc.
It is important for wound healing, appetite, growth, and immunity.
Supplement wise, Zinc Picolinate is probably the easiest form for your body to absorb. Though more expensive then other kinds of Zinc supplements, it’s all about quality when it comes to supplements.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins that are absorbed in the small intestine. If you are newly diagnosed with celiac or still healing, you could be at risk for being deficient in these vitamins.
Vitamin A – is good for vision, vital organ processes, immunity, and reproduction.
Vitamin D – already mentioned in the calcium discussion, it’s vital for bone health, immunity, and other vital health processes.
Vitamin E – is an antioxidant that helps fight off free radical damage. It can be good for the skin and nail.
Vitamin K – is important for blood clotting, bone health, and blood calcium levels.
These Fat Soluble Vitamins can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to supplementing these vitamins, a Multivitamin might be best. In fact, a multivitamin with all of the nutrients of concern when it comes to celiac disease is optimal.
I should also say, true deficiencies in these vitamins are not as common.
The B Vitamins
There are multiple B vitamins of concern when it comes to a healthy diet. They all have their important roll in cell and body processes.
With that said, B12 as mentioned earlier, is the biggest concern because of the characteristic damage to the duodenum.
A B-Complex can be beneficial in ensuring you’re getting enough of all B-vitamins. Especially since a few of them, like folate (or folic acid), are often found in fortified grains that are eliminated from the gluten-free diet after diagnosis.
Fiber is so important for gut health and often with celiac, people miss out on it.
At least at first, while their trying to learn how to eat gluten-free.
Taking a fiber supplement can help as you learn to balance your diet but make sure you work with your health care provider before starting it.
Also be mindful of your water consumption. You always want to make sure you increase your water intake as you increase fiber to prevent constipation with celiac.
L-Gutamine for Celiac
L-Glutamine can be found in eggs, beef, skim milk, tofu, white rice, corn, and other complete protein sources.
This essential amino acid is used for a variety of body processes, one of which is the building and repair of tissues. Not only that but it plays a role in digestive health, helping keep your gut happy and healthy.
This is not to be confused with glutamine peptides as these are typically derived from wheat and are the precursors to L-Glutamine.
Probiotics for Celiac
Probiotics can help with gut health which naturally would be good for celiac.
Probiotics can help balance your good gut bacteria, aid in digestion, improve mood and so much more.
However, there is a lot of science out there suggesting that the efficacy of different probiotics vary greatly.
Finding a probiotic supplement that helps celiac and your needs requires specific strains matched to your needs.
Because this area is so varied, I won’t provide any suggested supplements but instead, encourage you to work with your healthcare provider to find a probiotic that works for you.
Taking electrolyte with celiac are specific to if you’re suffering with a tough bout of diarrhea or vomiting.
Fluid loss can deplete your body of essential electrolytes required to do basic functions (like beat your heart).
If your symptoms with celiac include fluid-loss, it might be good to keep some gluten-free electrolytes on hand.
Do Gluten Enzymes and Gluten Cutters Work?
There is zero research to support that these enzymes or supplements prevent damage to the small intestine after gluten ingestion if you have celiac. The same goes for activated charcoal.
These supplements are only proven to help people with non-celiac gluten-sensitivity, not celiac.
Basically, science and research isn’t there to support the use of these supplements.
How to Buy Gluten-Free Supplements
Currently the supplement industry is highly unregulated so sourcing safe gluten-free supplements can be hard.
Some of my tips include:
- Make sure your supplements say “gluten-free” or even better, “certified gluten-free”
- Consider asking supplement brands if the do any 3rd part testing to ensure gluten-free status. I know pure encapsulations does.
- Natural doesn’t mean safe. Look for NSF, USP, or GMP certification
- ALWAYS talk to your health care providers before starting any new supplement.
Work with a Celiac Dietitian
DISCLAIMER: This post only directly applies to my friends with celiac disease. While I try to be an all-inclusive gluten-free blog, sometimes things will only apply to my non-celiac gluten sensitive friends and sometimes (like in this case), my posts will only apply to my friends with celiac disease.
As always, when sourcing your supplements make sure to do your own diligent research on whether or not they meet your own personal safety standards. The supplements linked in this post are mere suggestions but ingredients can change so make sure you are doing your own research and consulting with your health-care team before making purchases.
This post (and any other post on this site) is NOT to take the place of medical advice from your health care team. Always consult your health care team before making changes to your diet and taking supplements.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
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