26 Nutritional Deficiencies and Those Symptoms in Celiac Disease
I wrote this article in 2011 and republish it each year in my newsletter. I decided to put this on my blog, so folks can access it anytime because customers are constantly asking me to forward this article to them.
I am shocked at the number of customers who come into the Cafe with Celiac Disease who tell me that they have never been tested for any vitamin deficiencies. Every day I see customers in the Cafe who are complaining of many of the symptoms that I had; which were primarily caused by my vitamin deficiencies.
I never would have attributed my symptoms to vitamin deficiencies because so many of us don’t know the symptoms of the deficiencies. I think there are two reasons for that; in America, food is so plentiful that we, nor our doctors, look at vitamin deficiencies as a cause of our health problems and because some may not know the symptoms of the deficiencies that often go hand in hand with Celiac Disease (CD). When I started doing my own in depth research on CD, I was able to figure out what my deficiencies were before I had the lab tests done. Those tests would never have occurred had I not taken it upon myself to learn the symptoms of these deficiencies and insist on the lab work. Once I got my vitamin deficiencies cleared up, many of my symptoms were gone too.
It is amazing what a person can do when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired and don’t want to hear one more doctor offer them an Rx for an antidepressant. I have been there and done that, all my symptoms still remained, I just did not care how sick I was when on the anti depressants, my step kids could have set the house on fire and I would not have cared or even flinched; I probably would have found something “pretty” about the flames as they were engulfing the house!
I am not a doctor, but with all of the attention on Celiac Disease, one would think that the vitamin deficiencies often caused by untreated CD would be in the forefront, but it is not. The two biggest problems I hear customers in the café complaining about after a Celiac Diagnosis is they are having cross reactions to other foods and they complain of symptoms that appear to be complications from vitamin deficiencies. The majority of customers say they are just told by their doctor to eat Gluten Free and that is about it. No vitamin testing and no thought or discussion by some of their doctors is given to major cross reactive foods or vitamin deficiencies that often accompany a Celiac Diagnosis; they are being overlooked. Many customers have not had any follow up or a meeting with a dietitian or nutritionist, and that is shocking. In the past 3 weeks I have met more than a few customers with heart failure and celiac disease and one on the transplant list with a machine keeping him alive and he is probably still in his 30’s. Some with kidney failure and celiac are on the transplant list or had their transplant already. Which came first the Celiac or the Heart or Kidney Failure? I am betting it would be the Celiac, but it was missed. Heart and kidney failure is hard to miss. Severe vitamin deficiencies and untreated Celiac Disease can cause so many other serious problems! Please be aware and learn as much as you can about your Celiac Disease.
If you have not been in yet, we are a café where everyone talks with everyone in the dining room and many times it is like a mini support group breaks out. Customers are seeking info and support from each other because many are not getting what they need from their doctors. The conversations are amazing and I really wish I had One Dish Cuisine Cameras, so I could show doctors what their patients come in asking others about! It is great to see it when a customer comes back in and tells the other customers,” I went off dairy and my diarrhea went away in less than a week” or “my rash cleared up in a month when I went of gluten and dairy, the steroid cream did not do anything”. So, once again, here is some pertinent information and it is up to you to decide what to do with it. It seems that customers want to treat the actual problem; not just the symptoms of the problem with a drug; they want to know what the underlying problem is and fix that.
Please review the following symptoms and deficiencies. If you feel you may be deficient, please ask your doctor to test your vitamin levels. I am not a doctor and I am not trying to scare you; as usual, I am trying to keep you informed. Unfortunately; I don’t know of any other place where you will find this information unless you purchase the book I reference at the end of this article. This book is also available in the library at One Dish Cuisine Café, Deli and Bakery; if you would like to look at it when you are in.
Here is just one example from my many vitamin deficiencies. My vitamin D levels test results were a 2 and a 7, with 35 being the minimum level they want you at. You can bet that I had all of the symptoms of a Vitamin D Deficiency and now I take a mega Rx dose of Vitamin D that is prescribed by my doctor.
Check this out, all of it, I bet you will have an “ah ha” moment or two! Maureen
There are 26 Nutritional Deficiencies found in Celiac Disease
-Macronutrients and Micronutrients
-Fats, Acids, Minerals and Vitamins
–Carbohydrates (Glucose)- Affects Blood, Nervous, Sensory, Skeletal and Urinary Systems, common in untreated Celiac Disease
– Neurologic Symptoms involving hypoglycemia with irritability, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, restlessness, headache, visual disturbances, faintness, nervousness, hunger, fatigue and in some people, violent behavior. Metabolic symptoms include weakness and failure to gain weight in a child. Caused by damaged villi and limited absorption.
– Fats (Essential Fatty Acids)
Alpa-Linolenic Acid (ALA)-Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Immune, Integumentary, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory systems.
-Symptoms include Hypertension, artherosclerosis, elevated triglycerides, inflammation, short bleeding time, impaired vision, dry eye syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, mental and behavioral disorders, apathy, excessive thirst, split fingernails and ear problems. Caused by malabsorption in CD and lack of necessary vitamin and mineral cofactors including zinc, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B3, B6 and C.
Docosahexaeonoic Acid (DHA)-Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Immune, Interumentary, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory systems.
-Symptoms include slow and or faulty thinking, inability to concentrate, apathy, brain atrophy, essential hypertension, atherosclerosis, elevated blood triglycerides, hypertension and bleeding problems. Results from malabsorption in CD and lack of vitamin and mineral cofactors (zinc, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B3, B6 and C.
Eicosapentaeonic Acid (EPA)- Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Immune, Integumentary, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory systems.
– Symptoms include hypertension, artherosclerosis, elevated triglycerides, depression, apathy, bipolar disorder, the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, ADHD, Dislexia, dyspraxia, the autistic spectrum disorders, dry eye syndrome, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, PMS, short bleeding time, excessive thirst, sleep disorders. Results from malabsorption in CD, lack of necessary vitamin and mineral cofactors including zinc, magnesium, manganese and Vitamins B3, B6 and C.
Linoleic Acid (LA)- Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Immune, Integumentary, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory Systems.
-Symptoms include poor inflammatory response to injury, prolonged bleeding time, low blood pressure, skin disorders, fatty liver, excessive thirst, apathy, infertility and in children, growth retardation and short stature. Results form malabsorption in CD and lack of necessary vitamin and mineral cofactors including zinc, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B3, B6 and C.
Arachidonic Acid (AA)-Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Immune, Integumentary, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory Systems.
– Symptoms include fault memory thinking, and learning, apathy, low blood pressure, poor inflammatory response, prolonged bleeding, excessive thirst, low birth weight, reduced head circumference in infants. In children, growth retardation and short stature may develop. Resulting from malabsorption in CD and lack of necessary vitamin and mineral cofactors including zinc, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B3, B6 and C.
-Proteins (Essential Amino Acids)-Affects all systems.
Arginine, Cysteine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Tryptophan and Valine.
Marked by fluid retention and malnutrition includingmuscle wasting, weakness, proor muscle tone, fatigue, loss of vitality, anxiety, insomnia, dermatitis, hunger, weight loss, wasting of subcutaneous fat and muscle, flaky skin, thinning hair, discoloration of hair (black or brown turns reddish), apathy, diminished intellect, susceptibility to infection, infertility and impaired growth in children. Results from protein maldigestion and malabsorption in CD, including B complex vitamins.
Calcium- Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Immune, Integumentary, Glandular, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory Systems.
-Symptoms include poor development of bones and teeth, rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, osteoporosis, bone pain, easy fractures; muscle spasms/cramps advancing to tetany, mild encephalopathy; hypertension, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, excessive bleeding, pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, changes in saliva composition. Cataracts in chronic deficiency. Seizures and laryngospasm when severe. Caused by malabsorption in CD, ionized calcium being rendered unabsorbable due to binding with unabsorbed fatty acids in the formation of soaps, inadequate absorptive surface area, reduction in Vitamin D regulated proteins needed for active transport and low blood albumin.
Copper- Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Glandular, Muscular, Nervous, Skeletal Systems.
-Symptoms include anemia, leucopenia, neutropenia and bone abnormalities especially demineralization and apathy. Later symptoms are subperiosteal bleeding loss of pigmentation of hair and skin, hair curliness and loose skin. Caused by malabsorption in CD and possibly increased biliary loss.
Iron- Affects Blood, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Glandular, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Sensory and Skeletal Systems.
Symptoms include pallor, fatigue, susceptibility to bacterial infection, reduced learning, inattention, apathy, sensorimotor incompetence, visual impairment, reduced memory, anxiety, anorexia, dysphagia, a pale, smooth and sore tongue, koilonychia, loss of vitality, infertility and defects in fetal development. Caused by malabsorption of iron in CD; deficiency in Vitamin C impairs absorption.
Magnesium- Affects Cardiovascular, Digestive, Glandular, Muscular, Nervous and Skeletal Systems.
Symptoms include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, hypertension, muscle pain/spasm, chronic fatigue, weakness, PMS, constipation, bone pain, headache, deptession, irritability, personality change, confusion, anxiety, insomnia and decrease parathyroid hormone. Contributes to osteoporosis. Serious neuromuscular disturbances may develop including tetany, cardiac dysrhythmias, myocardial ischemia and seizures. Caused by malabsorption in CD being rendered unabsorbable due to binding with unabsorbed fatty acids in the formation of soaps an shift in electrolyte balance from loss of potassium in diarrhea.
Phosphorus- Affects Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Glandular, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive and Skeletal Systems.
Symptoms include loss of appetite, muscle weakness weight loss, low milk production in lactating women. Clumsy speech (dysrathia), paresthesia, confusion advances to stupor, seizures and coma. Contributes to osteoporosis. In children; imperfect bone and teeth development, rickets and retarded growth occur. Osteomalacia develops in adults. Results from phosphate malabsorption in CD, deficiency of OH, D3 which increases absorption of phosphorus, depletion in vomiting and diarrhea and increased parathyroid hormone which increases renal excretion.
Potassium- Affects Blood, Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Muscular, Nervous, Pulmonary and Skeletal systems.
Marked by fatigue, low blood pressure, dizziness, loss of appetite, thirst, vomiting, tremor, muscle aches/spasm, weakness of the lower extremities, drowsiness, confusion, anxiety, personality changes, mental depression and bone pain. Contributes to osteoporosis. Sever symptoms include premature ventricular and atrial contractions of the heart, tetany, myoclonic jerks and convulsions. Results from depletion in diarrhea and vomiting in CD.
Selenium- Affects Cardiovascular, Glandular, Immune, Muscular and Skeletal systems.
Marked by muscle weakness, loss of vitality, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, thyroid disorders, testosterone deficiency, lowers resistance to infection and predisposition to cancer. Contributes to osteoporosis. Results from malabsorption in CD.
Zinc- Affects Blood, Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Glandular, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Sensory and Skeletal systems.
Marked by low energy, fatigue, slow wound healing, frequent infections, nervousness, depression, anorexia, impaired taste and smell, skin rashes and disorders including eczema, acne, psoriasis, photophobia, male infertility and white spots in fingernails. In children and youths, anemia, hypogonadism and short stature develop. Results from malabsorption in CD.
Thiamin (B1)- Body composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory systems.
Marked by anorexia, weight loss, poor concentration/memory, difficulty recalling information, low morale, irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances, apathy, mental confusion, weakness, fatigue, indigestion, abdominal discomfort, constipation, pain over heart, ophthalmoplegia and decreased urine output.
Late syndromes include: “dry” causes changes in both legs, loss of feeling in toes, burning of the feet, muscle cramps in the calves and tenderness, pain in the legs. Later, loss of knee jerk reflex, tense calf muscles and atrophy of calf and thigh muscles occur.
Beriberi “wet” causes heart muscle disease: vasodilation and warm extremities, tachycardia (fast pulse), and sweating. Cardiomegaly leads to heart failure with edema of face, legs, trunk and serous cavities with lung congestion, high blood pressure, distended neck veins, fatigue and inactivity.
Cerebral beriberi (Wernicke Kosakoff syndrome) results from acute deficiency on top of chronic deficiency: confusion, dementia, loss of speech sounds from larynx, and confabulation, then loss of immediate memory, disorientation, nystagmus, staggering walk, coma and death.
Results from Malabsorption in CD.
Riboflavin (B2) – Affects Blood, digestive, Integumentary, Muscular and Sensory Systems.
Marked by loss of visual acuity, tearing, running and itching of eyes, photophobia, inflammation of conjunctiva, oral soreness and burning of lips mouth and tongue, cheilosis, purplish swollen tongue, hypertopghy or atrophy of tongue papillae, normocytic and normochromic anemia and seborrhea dermatitis. Predisposes to cataracts. Results from malabsorption in CD.
Niacin (B3 ) – Affects Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Sensory and Urinary systems.
Marked by muscle weakness, anorexia, distorted taste, indigestion, scarlet swollen tongue with burning of the mouth, throat and esophagus, abdominal discomfort and distention follow by nauseas, vomiting and diarrhea-serious and may be bloody from ulceration. Nervous symptoms include dizziness, poor memory, anxiety, apathy, depression, disorientation, confabulation, neuritis, tremors and hyperactivity in children. Skin can be cracked, itchy, pigmented red rash advancing to crustin skin eruptions sensitive to sunshine, itchy re wet areas from chafing and inflammation of mucous membranes of vagina and urethra. Results from malabsorption in CD.
Pyridoxine (B6) – Blood, Cardiovascular, digestive, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive systems.
Marked by anemia, increased homocysteine leading to atherosclerosis, lymphopenia, seborrhea, dermatosis, glossitis, stomatitis, cheilosis, peripheral neuropathies, weakness, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, apathy and impaired cell mediated immunity. Convulsions in infancy. Results from malabsorption in CD.
Folic Acid (B9) – Blood, Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Glandular, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Sensory.
Marked by megoplastic anemia, thrombocytopenia leading to bleeding, neutropenia leading to risk of infection, hyperhomcysteinemia leading to a atherosclerosis, glossitis, stomatitis, diarrhea, malabsorption, weakness, depression, apathy, psychiatric disorders, polyneuropathy, and neurologiacal abnormalities including seizures, migraine, and intracranial hypertension. In men, impotence, hypogonadism and reduced semen quality may develop. In women, infertility, toxemia or pregnancy, miscarriage, abruption placenta, restless leg syndrome and congenital malformations can result. Results form malabsorption in CD.
Vitamin B12- Blood, Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Sensory.
Marked by increase in plasma and urinary levels of homcysteine (leading to atherosclerosis), methylmalonicacid and aminoisocaproate, megaloblastic anemia giving a lemon yellow tint to the skin, pallor, thrombocytopenia in half of severe cases leading to risk of bleeding, neutropenia leading to risk of infection, apathy, anorexia, distorted taste, beefy red, smooth tongue with burning intermittent diarrhea and constipation, poorly localized abdominal pain, considerable weight loss, muscle stiffness and generalized weakness in legs, numbness, tingling and burning in feet. Spasticity and ataxia, depression and impaired thinking occur later. Late signs include paranoia, hallucinations, confusion and delirium. Results from malabsorption in CD and is not due to autoimmune gastritis.
Vitamin C- Blood, Body Composition, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Glandular, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Pulmonary, Reproductive, Sensory and Skeletal.
Marked by swollen ulcerated and bleeding gums and eventual tooth loss from infection, impaired wound healing, bleeding including bruising, petechiae, nosebleeds, conjunctival hemorrhage and splinter hemorrhages in nails, loss of muscle, weakness, fatigue, anemia, rheumatic pains in legs, arthritis resembling rheumatoid arthritis, lethargy, irritability, depression, hysteria, hypochondria and coiling of hair in skin with hyperkeratosis of follicles (bumps). Edema of lower extremities appears late. In infants, weakness of bone, teeth, cartilage and connective tissue, edema and hemorrhages occur due to gluten in formula. Results form malabsorption in CD.
Vitamin A- Blood, digestive, Immune, Interumentary, Pulmonary, Reproductive, Sensory, Skeletal, Urinary.
Marked by repeat infections and poor recovery. Visual Problems include nightblindness, impaired dark visual adaptation, dryness of the bulbar conjunctiva, chronic conjunctivitis, dryness of the cornea with haziness, cataracts, dysfunction of the retina, Bitot’s spots, xerophthalmia and blindness. Dermatologic problems include dry, scaly, rough skin and plugged hair follicles- “goose flesh”. Mucous problems include dry mouth, poor digestion and diminished mucous production in the digestive tract, lungs and urinary tract. Impairment of sperm formation in males and spontaneous abortion in females occurs.
Vitamin D- Affects Digestive, Glandular, Immune, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous and Skeletal.
Marked by bone pain, easy fractures, osteopenia/osteoporosis, (bone thinning), osteomalacia (bone softening) in adults, affecting the spine with vertical shortening of the vertebrae, the pelvis with flattening and narrowing of the pelvic outlet and the lower extremities with bowing of the long bones; muscle weakness, defective coordination or walking, osteomalacic myopathy and spasm, psoriasis, decreased male fertility. Results from malabsorption in CD.
Vitamin E- Affects Cardiovascular, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive and Sensory systems.
Marked by loss of deep tendon reflexes, impaired vibratory and sensory sensations, changes in balance and coordination, weakness, retinopathy, abnormal clots, increased risk of cancer and arthersoclerosis. Infertility occurs in males. Dysmenorrhea and reproductive disorders occur in females. Results from malabsorption in CD and pancreatic insufficiency.
Vitamin K- Affects Blood, Reproductive and Skeletal systems.
Marked by abnormal bleeding, including easy bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, gastrointestinal bleeding, excessive menstrual bleeding and blood in the urine. Contributes to osteoporosis. Results from malabsorption in CD, diarrhea.
(Source: Recognizing Celiac Disease by Cleo J. Libonati, RN, BSN)
*Check out our Resources Page on our website for links to the above and the 300 signs and symptoms of Celiac Disease.