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lindagray

Supplements & Follow-up Care

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Vitamin and mineral supplements

If your nutritional deficiencies are severe, your doctor or dietitian may recommend taking vitamin and mineral supplements. You may need to supplement your levels of:

  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Vitamins and supplements are usually taken in pill form. If your digestive tract has trouble absorbing vitamins, your doctor may give them by injection. You need to be sure that the vitamins and supplements are gluten-free.

Follow-up care

If you have celiac disease, you will need medical follow-up to make sure your symptoms have responded to a gluten-free diet. Doctors will also want to be sure you are getting the support you need to maintain the diet for life. They will use blood tests to monitor your response. The results of these tests, which are primarily designed as a way to detect celiac disease, usually become negative once you have been gluten-free for six to 12 months. If test results remain positive, then your doctor may try to find the reason, the most common being unintentional exposure to gluten in your diet.

However, these tests are not perfect, and even if the results become negative, it is possible that you could still be exposed to a significant amount of gluten and continue to have symptoms and damage to your intestines.

If you continue to have symptoms, or your symptoms recur, you may need a follow-up endoscopy with biopsies to ensure that healing has occurred. Adults typically have a greater need for follow-up testing, although children may require it, too. Some doctors recommend a routine re-biopsy if you are diagnosed in adulthood, as healing is often quite slow and uncertain.

It also can be helpful to follow up with an expert dietitian for assistance in adapting to, and maintaining, a healthy, nutritious, gluten-free diet.

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