Day 14 - Helpful Supplements

Welcome to day 14!

Following the gluten-free diet can significantly improve your health if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. But you do have to watch out: people who eat gluten-free tend to be deficient in a few vitamins and minerals, and their daily intakes of others may not quite meet recommendations, in part because gluten-free processed foods often aren't supplemented with extra nutrients.

 

Before you take any new supplements or herbs contact your doctor or pharmacist to see if there is any interactions with any of your current prescriptions or medical conditions.

Today we'll learn
How to find out if you have any nutritional deficiencies
What are beneficial supplements for those on a gluten free diet
Whether or not you should take probiotics
What to look for when picking a supplement
 

What to do first:
Many people with celiac disease also need to take supplements to help rebuild their nutrient stores and heal symptoms caused by malabsorption. (11) This can include deficiencies in iron, calcium and vitamin D, zinc, B6, B12, and folate. These are a common celiac disease symptoms because the digestive tract cannot absorb nutrients as well when damage and inflammation occurs, which means even if you eat a great diet otherwise, you might still have deficiencies. (12) You can talk to your doctor about performing tests to confirm any deficiencies, and then you can take quality supplements to help speed up the healing process and fill in any gaps.

Your doctor might prescribe dietary supplements in high doses or encourage you to take a gluten-free multivitamin. Most gluten-free foods are not fortified with additional nutrients (like many packaged enriched wheat products are) so supplements are another way to cover your bases. Of course, loading up on nutrient-dense foods is the best way to obtain more vitamins and minerals naturally.

What about gluten sensitivity?
Even though gluten sensitivity doesn't cause malabsorbtion that doesn't mean that you don't have nutritional deficiencies. If you had a diet low in certain foods like fruits and vegetables or live in a part of the world that doesn't see a lot of sun in the winter then your could have deficiencies anyways. Go check with your doctor to get the right tests to see if there are any deficiencies.

How do you know how to find a quality supplement?
Like I mentioned earlier in the course supplements have to follow the same rules as food and label any cross contamination and gluten in their products. Medications don't so remember don't forget to check. There is a huge selection of supplements and a wide range of quality. When shopping look for natural vs. synthetic and look for “red flags” on labels—sugar, artificial coloring and flavoring, preservatives, and additives such as shellac, chlorine and other chemicals should be avoided.