Celiac Disease and Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals
People with severe or long-standing celiac disease may need medically supervised replacement of vitamins and minerals until their intestines recover sufficiently to absorb these nutrients. Depending on each person’s specific deficiencies, doctors may prescribe the following types of supplements:
Effect of Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals on Celiac Disease
When people with celiac disease eat food with gluten, it provokes an immune reaction that causes flattening and damage to the small protrusions (villi) in the small intestine that absorb nutrients. The resulting smooth surface in the lining of the intestine inhibits the ability to digest and absorb nutrients in many, if not all, foods. As a result, people with untreated celiac disease can suffer from malnutrition and a host of symptoms caused by malnutrition. Supplemental vitamins and minerals can help correct these nutritional deficiencies.
Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment
If you have severe celiac disease, you should be seeing a doctor or other qualified health professional who can prescribe supplements and monitor your progress. For general nutritional support, seek counsel from a nutritionist or other health professional who specializes in nutrition, such as a naturopath.
Side Effects and Warnings
Standard multivitamin/multimineral tablets contain nutrients at levels believed to be safe for the majority of healthy people, as indicated by amounts at or below the recommended daily allowance. However, even these supplements could be harmful for people with certain diseases, such as kidney or liver disease, or for people taking certain medications, such as warfarin.
There are other multivitamin/multimineral tablets that contain high levels of certain nutrients far above nutritional needs. These could conceivably present risks for healthy people, particularly if they are taken in combination with additional specific supplements. Almost any mineral can be toxic if taken to excess, and there are also risks with excessive intake of vitamins A, B 6 , and D.
One study found that use of multivitamin/mineral supplements may actually increase the infectivity of women with HIV.1 The reasons for this are unclear.
- McClelland RS, Baeten JM, Overbaugh J, Richardson BA, Mandaliya K, Emery S, Lavreys L, Ndinya-Achola JO, Bankson DD, Bwayo JJ, Kreiss JK. Micronutrient supplementation increases genital tract shedding of HIV-1 in women: results of a randomized trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 37(5):1657-63.