Calcium is an essential part of the human body. In the outside world, it takes the form of a soft gray metal, but inside us, it takes the form of bones and teeth. It also performs necessary functions that allow muscles to move properly and signals from nerves to be carried to the brain in milliseconds.
Calcium is abundant in many foods, including dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk), leafy greens, and seafood. Getting enough calcium can be a challenge for those who don’t tend to consume a lot of those kinds of foods; other causes such as not getting enough sun or vitamin D, malabsorption/ celiac disease, eating too much sugar, or too much steroid use can also contribute to low levels of calcium.
Symptoms Of Calcium Deficiency
Calcium Deficiency may not be immediately obvious. Because the body has the ability to store calcium within its bones and teeth, the deficiency can get very serious before it begins to cause noticeable problems.
When it does, things tend to escalate very quickly, so it is important to start treating it before it gets very far. Some results include muscle spasms, hormonal imbalances, abnormal blood clotting, heightened blood pressure, joint pain, and even osteopenia, or bone mass loss.
Gluten-Free Diet and Calcium
Many people choose to go on a gluten-free diet because of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Either way, the ingestion of gluten before the patient in question discovered their condition could result in extensive gastrointestinal damage.
The damage anti-gluten antibodies do to the intestinal walls and the villi means that nutrients cannot be absorbed correctly. Villi small, fingerlike structures that coat the walls of the small intestine are designed to increase the surface area of the inside of the intestinal, thus allowing for exponentially greater absorption of nutrients. When they are damaged, malnutrition is inevitable. This is why a gluten-free diet and calcium deficiency among other deficiencies are often linked.
One common solution for those on a strict gluten-free diet is to invest in a celiac calcium supplement for a gluten-free diet. Because gluten-free vitamins are specifically designed for your needs, they are great options.
In fact, there are celiac supplements that are made of the most absorbable forms of calcium. Try to find one with the chelated form of calcium; that will be easiest for the damaged villi to absorb. Make sure that your doctor says it will be safe before you take any gluten-free supplements!
Celiac Disease & Multivitamin Supplements
Celiac disease afflicts the intestines and the entire digestive system and is caused by an abnormal reaction (typically an allergy) to gluten, a very common compound found in a large variety of processed foods. Gluten is a very common protein that is found in rye, barley, wheat, oat as well as in many flour-based products.
In addition to the digestive system, Celiac disease can affect other vital organs including the pancreas (which can ultimately lead to diabetes), thyroid gland, and the nervous system. While the affects of Celiac disease are most notable in the intestines, it may affect one or more of the body organs and/or systems listed above.
Celiac Disease Symptoms
The exact symptoms of Celiac are difficult to pinpoint as celiac symptoms happen differently in each individual with the disease. Some of the more common symptoms include bloating and gas, foul stools, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, significant weight loss, joint pain, aching muscles, cramping, skin rashes, infertility, and seizures in severe cases.
Internal examinations of individuals affected with Celiac disease reveals that the small intestine lining is sometimes severely damaged, especially the central section of the small intestines called the jejunum.
Individuals who let Celiac go too long without treatment may end up suffering from a number of conditions including weight loss, osteoporosis, anemia, malaise, and even cancer. Other symptomatic side effects of Celiac may include anxiety, depression, and other emotional conditions.
Multivitamin Supplements For Celiac Patients
Since malabsorption is a common side effect of Celiac disease, those suffering from the condition may also suffer from a variety of nutritional deficiencies. Many Celiac sufferers who struggle with malabsorption are deficient of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Folic Acid
- Essential Fatty Acids
In some instances, those with Celiac disease may suffer from iron malabsorption which leads to an iron deficiency. An iron deficiency may even occur in Celiac disease with people who are in remission. New Celiac sufferers should see a medical doctor to determine if they are nutrient deficient.
Other Celiac patients may consider supplementing with celiac nutritional supplements like celiac multivitamins that contain these essential nutrients. It has also been recommended that celiac sufferers with a particular deficiency like calcium should supplement with that specific mineral and/or nutrient.
For example, left untreated, a calcium deficiency can cause celiac sufferers to develop osteomalacia, or unnatural bone mineralization. While it has been suggested that calcium supplementation may help fight bone loss, thus increasing bone density, it has not been proven that supplementation will eliminate the risk of bone loss or bone fracture.
Even when a person with celiac eliminates gluten from their diet, it is possible that they will develop small deficiencies in their diet. However, those who do not eliminate gluten from their diet are likely to develop much more severed nutrient deficiencies than those who strictly avoid gluten. Celiac disease is a very complex condition. Consequently, it is recommended that people with Celiac should consult with a doctor in treating their condition.