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Diagnosed with Celiac disease and anemia. Taking iron supplements. Have fast heart rate, dizziness. Worried about iron absorption?

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I have just been diagnosed with celiac disease and also anemia. I am taking iron supplements but worried that the iron will not be absorbed until the celiac disease stabilised I am on a gluten free diet and have been for 5 days. I have a fast heart rate and dizziness from the anemia
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 48 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
•     50 year old female
•     Known case of coeliac disease and anemia
•     Complaints of: worry related to iron use in coeliac disease, fast heart rate and dizziness
•     Currently on gluten free diet

Due to immunological damage in coeliac disease leads to the changes in the bowel which make it less able to absorb nutrients, minerals and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Because of that following complication can occur:
•     Weight loss, fatigue or lack of energy.
•     Anaemia may develop in several ways: iron malabsorption, vitamin B12 malabsorption
•     Calcium and vitamin D malabsorption leads to osteopenia (decreased mineral content of the bone) or osteoporosis (bone weakening and risk of fragility fractures).
•     Abnormal coagulation due to vitamin K deficiency and are slightly at risk for abnormal bleeding.

Apart from that B12 deficiency may cause anxiety and depressive symptoms which can exacerbate worry related coeliac disease, its complication and treatment.

Treatment of choice for celiac disease is gluten free (wheat, barley and rye) diet and improvement become clinically evident after few weeks of diet restriction.

Treatment with iron may be necessary if you have anemia but iron preparation sometime itself cause diarrhoea as a side effects. Although it is true pre-existing celiac disease will impair iron absorption but with gluten free diet it will be helpful for you to improve anemia.

Apart from the iron you can also take multi vitamins as they are deficient in celiac disease and may cause anemia and other problem. If your anemia is very severe or you are intolerant to oral preparation then your physician has option to give treatment by injectables.

Final message to you: Do not worry about symptoms, follow above advice and discuss issues with your physician with above information.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
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