Lesson 5: Make Annual Follow Up Visits with a Doctor or Nutritionist Familiar with Celiac Disease:
Since many grains are enriched with vitamins, avoiding grains with a gluten free diet may mean you are missing out on these important vitamins.
When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I was given a script by my Endocrinologist and told my prescription was a gluten free diet. That was it. He didn’t mention any follow up but said I may need to consult with a dietitian.
I followed up with a dietitian but she wasn’t too educated herself and after being handed a pile of photocopied papers from a Google search on “gluten free diets”, I decided to proceed on my own.
It wasn’t until I started glutenfreelabels.com and joined my first local support group (yes, a whole 4 years after I was diagnosed) when a 20+ year Celiac veteran told me I should be getting yearly blood anti-body levels in addition to vitamin testing since celiac disease causes malabsorption. Testing for iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin B6 and B12, and folate deficiencies is suggested. These should be repeated at yearly physicals.
This summer, I finally went to the Celiac Center in Philadelphia and had all my levels checked as well as a bone scan to determine if I had osteoporosis or osteopenia. All my levels checked out fine but there are many people that aren’t getting what they need (many weren’t in my support group). Thanks to the gluten free communities advice I will be going back to the Celiac Center next summer and will continue to go for regular maintenance. I suggested you do the same.
If you found this post to be valuable, please SHARE it with to anyone newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease or someone with a gluten intolerance that is still NOT feeling well even though they are eating strictly gluten free. These few simple tips may be just what they need to getting them back on a road to recovery.
Interested in other lessons from a Celiac? Here they are…