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If you suffer from constant lot of stomach bloating and other signs of indigestion, it can be linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Your ability to digest vitamin B12 and use it to prevent pernicious anemia can be traced directly to the environment in your gut. Symptoms of stomach bloating can be the first clue in distinguishing why you’re suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, and how to prevent it.
Vitamin B12 malabsorption
When your digestive system is not working properly, then you’re not getting enough vitamin B12. That’s because unlike other vitamins, B12 cannot be absorbed from foods without the help of certain digestive enzymes that are produced by your parietal cells of the stomach.
Gastritis (stomach inflammation) is one of several causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption.
So even though you eat plenty of meat, chicken, and fish, you aren’t getting the vitamin B12 you need in order to survive. And it all stems from your gastrointestinal health.
Intrinsic factor is one such protein that your body needs, both to extract cobalamin (vitamin B12) from food and to utilize it efficiently so that it reaches your blood stream.
But with digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, or if there is any type of damage to your esophagus, stomach walls, or intestinal tract, then you run a high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, and possibly pernicious anemia.
So while people assume that pernicious anemia is a blood disease, it really begins in the stomach, with bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn.
Symptoms of stomach disorders
The following symptoms, if they occur often, may indicate a breakdown in your digestive system that requires immediate treatment in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and many other ailments:
Celiac disease and vitamin B12 deficiency are interrelated, but many celiacs are unaware of the high risk for developing vitamin B-12 deficiency. Like celiac disease, vitamin B12 deficiency is sometimes an autoimmune disorder brought on by pernicious anemia.
What is vitamin B-12?
Vitamin B12, “cyanocobalamin,” is an essential nutrient that occurs in protein foods, such as beef and chicken liver, oysters, shrimp, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, and is stored in the liver.
B12 is crucial for healthy red blood cell production, for protecting your nervous system, for supporting cardiovascular health, and for sustaining normal cognitive functioning, such as memory, thinking skills, and logic.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency?
If you are unable to sustain sufficient amounts of B12 in your liver, then you may start to feel tired, depressed, and disoriented. You might notice a numbing or tingling sensation in your hands and feet, described as “pins and needles.”
You might also notice that you have a hard time remembering important dates or meetings, or finding the right word while talking to somebody or sending an e-mail.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac patients and others with gluten intolerance must avoid all products containing gluten- baked goods, packaged snacks, and a long list of food additives- in order to avoid symptoms.
Celiac disease is one of many autoimmune diseases that occur with vitamin B12 deficiency. With celiac, patients who eat any foods containing gluten experience painful symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and achiness. That is because their immune system identifies gluten as a threat, and begins to attack traces of gluten in the digestive system, causing severe damage to the intestinal tract.
Why are celiac disease patients at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?
Scientists don’t claim that celiac disease is an outright cause of low vitamin B12, but they have noted a strong correlation- enough to warrant extensive research and recommendations.
In order to digest nutrients such as vitamin B12 properly, you need to have a healthy digestive system. People with autoimmune diseases that cause gastrointestinal damage, such as Hashimoto’sdisease, Crohn’sdisease, and celiac diseases, are unable to absorb nutrients from dietary sources because of damage to their stomach linings, small intestines or colon.
For them, malabsorption often leads to anemia, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy in the hands and feet (thus the tingling and numbness).
Celiac disease patients, and others who can’t absorb vitamin B12
Besides celiac disease, other factors can make it difficult for your body to absorb enough vitamin B12:
Inability to produce intrinsic factor, a necessary protein for B12 vitamin absorption
Gastrointestinal surgeries (gastric bypass, IBD surgery) that involve removing your ileum, a part of your small intestine that helps you digest vitamin B12 from food
Long-time usage of heartburn medications
Following a vegan diet
Does following a gluten-free diet cure vitamin B12 deficiency?
Not entirely; according to research by the University of Edinburgh, people who suffer celiac disease, but do not receive treatment, have a 41% chance of developing vitamin B12 deficiency.
In celiac patients who started following a gluten-free diet, most of their symptoms disappeared. However, a significant amount of celiacs continued to suffer neuropathic symptoms such as tingling and numbness, and those side effects did not disappear until they brought their vitamin B12 levels back to normal with routine vitamin B12 supplements.
Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:
Don’t let celiac disease or other food allergies like lactose intolerance keep you from enjoying major league baseball. Yummy gluten-free dietmenus for gluten intolerance are available at most ballparks. Find your favorite gluten-free beer, hot dogs with tapioca-rice hot dog buns, and more. Before you sit down to enjoy the game, check out this gluten-free food list for baseball fans.
Sufferers of celiac disease follow a gluten free diet, but many don’t add vitamin B12. People with autoimmune disease or gluten intolerance getB12 deficiency more often than not, according to health experts. Doctors advise sufferers of digestive diseases or pernicious anemia to supplement with B12.
Celiac disease facts:
“Alternative Names: Also classified as a disease of nutrient malabsorption, celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.” –DiagnoseMe.com
Celiac disease (Gluten Enteropathy) is a digestive disease that causes severe damage to the small intestine’s lining.
Celiac disease is also an autoimmune disease. When any food containing gluten enters the body, the body proceeds to attack its own digestive system, harming the inner lining of the small intestine.
Gluten is a protein that occurs primarily in wheat, rye, and barley. All baked goods, snacks, or condiments that contain gluten are hazardous to patients with celiac disease.
Celiac disease patients have difficulty digesting vitamins and minerals from food sources, particularly vitamin B12, which can lead to severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, flatulence, blood in the stool, pernicious anemia caused by B12 deficiency, and stunted growth.
There is no confirmed cure for celiac disease. Physicians recommend lifestyle changes, such as following a gluten-free diet and supplementing with vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: What’s the connection?
“Since most B12 in our diets comes from animal products, vegans are at risk for B12 deficiency. Crohn’s and celiac disease, weight loss surgery, and chronic alcoholism can all interfere with a person’s ability to absorb enough of the nutrients they need. Seniors have more problems with nutrient absorption and malnutrition as well.” –WebMD
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that occurs naturally in protein sources such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk products.
Your body needs vitamin B12 for the nervous system, building red blood cells, mental clarity, maintaining metabolism, and preventing dementia.
According to one study, celiac disease patients run a high risk of developing vitamin deficiencies. Out of over 400 celiac disease patients, 12% suffered folate deficiency and 5% were deficient in vitamin B12. Among men, 33% had iron deficiency, while 19% of women had low iron levels.
Scientists conclude that damage to the small intestine in celiac disease patients prevents them from properly absorbing nutrients, thus causing severe malnourishment.
Scientists also speculate that following a gluten-free diet might also contribute to vitamin deficiencies, adding that many gluten-free products lack sufficient B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, fiber or vitamin D.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms and treatment
Only a blood screening for low B12 can confirm if you have vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, depression, psychosis, memory loss, brain fog, tingling or numbness in the hands and/or feet, altered taste perception, and loss of balance.
In some cases, following a gluten-free diet is effective at maintaining vitamin B12 levels.
For people who exhibit celiac disease symptoms in addition to symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, doctors advise immediate supplementation of B12.
Vitamin B12 supplementation can include weekly B12 injections, and may follow up with sublingual vitamin B12 tablets.
For many, B12 shots cause bruising, and are extremely painful, as they require insertion into thick, muscular tissue. A popular option is to supplement with an alternative weekly over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplement, which administers the same amount of vitamin B12 as the B12 injections, without the pain, and doesn’t require prescription.
Gluten FreeDiet-Safe Halloween Treats-Before buying Halloween treats for kids with Celiac disease symptoms, see our gluten-free candy list for October 2011. Following a gluten-free diet couldn’t be easier, even if your family suffers from autoimmune disease or gluten allergy.
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms
People with Celiac disease or other gluten intolerance symptoms must follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, is a common ingredient in most baked goods, snacks, and other packaged foods. Symptoms of Celiac, an autoimmune disease, include stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Look no farther than the Jelly Belly candy display for the tastiest candy corn! Jelly Belly makes delicious assorted jellybeans and other candy confections that are (mostly) gluten-free, dairy-free, gelatin-free, vegetarian, and OU Kosher. For a list of Jelly Belly products to avoid this year, see Avoid these NOT Gluten-Free Halloween Candies, below. Get their Halloween Fun Pack for $4.99.
Gluten Free for Chocolate Lovers
The following chocolate bars and chocolate confections are safe for people with gluten intolerance and wheat allergies:
Baby Ruth bars
Butterfinger Original only
Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins
York Peppermint Patties
3 Musketeers bars
Gummy Candies, Jelly Beans, and Chewy Candies- Nom, Nom!
These stick-to-your-teeth candies are soft, chewy, and sticky-sweet. Best of all, no gluten!
Black Forest Gummies, including Gummy Werewolves and Gummy Vampires
Mike and Ike
Peeps Ghosts Marshmallow Candy
Starburst Fruit Chews
Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Lollipops and Hard Candies
Which lollipops are okay for kids with Celiac disease? These hard Halloween candies are guaranteed to be free of gluten.
Charms Flat Pops
Spangler Dum-Dums and Saf-T-Pops
Lifesavers individual flavors
Avoid these NOT Gluten-Free Halloween Candies:
Chocolate Bars to Pass on
Nestle 100 Grand Bar
Nestle Crunch Bar
Original Milky Way Bar
Butterfinger: Butterfinger Crisp Bar, Butterfinger Giant Bar, Butterfinger Snackerz, Butterfinger Medallions, Butterfinger Jingles, Butterfinger Hearts, and Butterfinger Pumpkins
Hershey’s Symphony Bar
Hershey’s Almond Joy
Don’t Chew on These
Wonka Nerds (most flavors)
Jelly Belly- assorted bridge mixes, chocolate malt balls, and licorice buttons and pastels contain gluten.
Top iPhone apps for finding the nearest gluten-free restaurants or bakeries are great for celiac disease or food allergy diets, on iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
Even More Gluten-Free Gadget Apps!
Yesterday, we reviewed the first five of our list,the 10 Best iPhone Apps for Celiac Disease. And now, here are five more outstanding iTunes apps for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, finishing off our top ten list of iPhone apps for gluten-free products, and recipes for people with food allergies.
Over 250 restaurants and 60,000 menu items fill this database for anybody trying to lose weight, avoid food allergens, follow a gluten-free diet, or just for people who want to choose healthy, nutritious food items while eating out. This restaurant app is compatible with Google maps and Facebook. Restaurant Nutrition, iTunes, Foundation HealthCare Network, Free
For iPhone, iPad, and iPod, the Gluten Free Registry has an all-inclusive list of gluten-free restaurants, vacation resorts, bakeries, grocery stores, caterers, and coffee houses, including over 23,300 establishments in and outside the US. Map out gluten-free desserts, and post your review. Preview menus from over 12,300 eateries. Gluten Free Registry, iTunes, Gluten Free Registry LLC, $1.99
Whether you suffer from gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, you’ll appreciate this list of gluten-free foods that lets you automatically search for gluten-free pizza or gluten-free breads on Amazon and Google without having to type “gluten free” in the search field repetitively. Gluten FreeIngredients, iTunes, Nations Software, $0.99
Enjoy taste testing over 1,000 by Eden Foods, the leading manufacturer of healthy, organic natural foods. Cruise through this iPhone app for allergen-free recipe ideas, organized by cuisine, course, specific diet, or key ingredients. Eden Recipes, iTunes, Eden Foods, Free
If you’re trying to control food triggers, but you don’t like constantly having to log in details like dates, times, or amounts, then this is the only food diary you’ll ever need! Easily find out which foods you are allergic to by checking off only two categories- food and symptom, unless you want to add other important details, such as the time of day, food name, or date. Nothing could be simpler. Food Allergy Detective, iTunes, Evil Timmy, $2.99
Let’s face it- celiac disease diets don’t lend themselves to spontaneous eating. If you’re trying to cut out gluten, nuts, dairy, or any other allergens from your diet, then you need to read food product ingredient lists carefully while shopping for groceries and preparing gluten-free meals.
But if you have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, then you have a wealth of gluten-free information at your fingertips! With the latest iPhone apps on iTunes, you can easily look up gluten-free recipes, the nearest gluten-free restaurants, gluten-free bakeries, and thousands of other eating establishments that serve specially prepared pizza, bread, cakes, and other baked goods for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerance.
Here is the first part of our list, the 10 Best iPhone Apps for Celiac Disease. Stay tuned for the second part, including list items #6-10, tomorrow!
#1 GF Disney – Gluten and Allergen Free Disney World
If you’re planning a gluten-free Disney vacation, then you’ll want to download this Disney World app for people with celiac disease and food allergies. Many of Disney World’s restaurants, shops, and food stands serve foods that are free of gluten, peanuts, dairy, and meat- great for vegetarians and vegans, children with autism, celiac disease patients, or anybody on a restrictive diet. This iPhone app lets you find allergen-free foods while visiting Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Water Parks, and Downtown Disney. GF Disney – Gluten and Allergen Free
Disney World, iTunes, GlutenFree Passport, $2.99
For use in grocery stores, easily look up food ingredients for poison alerts, allergies, drug interactions, or safety during pregnancy and nursing. No wifi is required to search this database of over 1900 food additives and ingredients. Don’t Eat That, iTunes, Celldial, Inc., $1.99
If you’re on a restrictive diet for celiac disease, food allergies, asthma, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), or other chronic illness, then this app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch is the one to get. Search food additives by name, International Numbering System, safety level, symptoms, and dietary restrictions. This app is fully searchable, requires no internet connection, and is also an excellent resource for vegans and people with vitamin B12 deficiency. Food Additives 2, iTunes, IGRASS PTY LTD, $3.99
An App Store “New and Noteworthy” feature, Cook IT Allergy Free includes over 200 recipes for people suffering from celiac disease, autism, or various food allergies. IPhone app features colorful recipe submissions for people avoiding allergens such as gluten, nuts, dairy, or eggs. Cook IT Allergy Free, iTunes, My Allergy Free Recipes, LLC, $3.99
If you read Part 1, Five Reasons to Go Bento on Gluten Free, then you already know that bento boxes are God’s gift to gluten-free dieting. Now, what are you going to do with that information? To start you off on the road to happy bento boxing, here are some tips from the experts:
Bento Lunchbox Tips
1- Make it gluten-free! Fortunately, bento box lunches marry well with gluten-free dieting. That’s because staple bento lunch ingredients include gluten-free foods like rice, eggs, and fish, in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables. Your only challenge- finding gluten-free soy sauce.
2- Make it fun!Buy a bento box that matches your child’s personality. Bento box themes range from Pokemon, space robots, and sports to panda bears, puppy dogs, and everybody’s favorite, Hello Kitty.
3- Make it hot or cold! Cold bento lunches are a snap to put together, but don’t forget those chilly winter school days! Many bento boxes come with insulation to keep your cold salads crisp, and your warm chowders steamy.
4- Make it personal!Let your kids help you put together their lunch ingredients. You supply the fixins, like carrot sticks, rice balls, tuna salad, boiled eggs, and cut fruit. Your kids can assemble the whole kit and caboodle.
5- Make it awesome!You don’t need to be a master at food artistry to concoct some cool-looking sides with real “wow!” appeal. Use common tools like cookie cutters, egg slicers, ice cube trays, and ice cream sandwich molds to whip up some unique, whimsical snack creations. Add sliced nori for “eyes,” or design healthy edible decorations out of egg sheets. Let your imagination run wild!
6- Make it economical! Bento lunch meals are cheap because they utilize inexpensive, basic staples like rice, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Bento lunches are also practical, in that they use up leftovers and other single-serving snacks.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the intestinal linings, specifically in the presence of gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, corn, rye, spelt, Kamut and triticale. For that reason, people who suffer from celiac disease are required to follow a gluten-free celiac disease restrictive diet.
Gluten can lurk in many baked goods, packaged food items, and condiments. Although many food items carry “gluten-free” labeling, the best way to avoid accidentally consuming gluten is by checking ingredient labels carefully, checking also for gluten cross-contamination warnings.
Other people who follow gluten-free dieting are individuals who are allergic to gluten, and others who suffer from gluten intolerance. Also, many parents of autistic children find that gluten-free foods agree better with their children’s digestive system. Increasingly, more sufferers of fibromyalgiaclaim that switching to a gluten-free diet has alleviated many of their pain symptoms.
Why Go Bento?
Bento is the Japanese version of a brown-bagged lunch, only much healthier…not to mention, better for the environment. Bento boxes are easy to find, but if you don’t feel like ordering a Hello Kitty bento box for your celiac kiddo, don’t worry. In a pinch, you can utilize standard Rubbermaid or Ziploc brand containers for your bento boxing needs.
The many benefits of bento boxing are too numerous to count, but let’s try:
1- Perfect pair. Bento boxing and gluten-free dieting is a match made in heaven. Traditional Japanese cuisine already contains foods that are compatible with celiac disease dieting.
2- Portion controlled.The number one strategy for any diet is controlling the amount you eat. Bento boxes contain sectioned food trays, allowing for perfect food group rationing, for you portion control freaks out there.
3- Pleasing to the eye.Tasty food alone doesn’t suffice for your fussy eaters; it should look good, too. Studies prove that people “taste with their eyes” before they take that first bite. Popular bento treats include rice balls (onigiri) and molded eggs, formed with fun animal-shaped molds, and veggies or fruit in appealing cookie-cutter figures.
4- Planet-friendly. By using a bento box, you cut out a substantial amount of waste, including brown bags, sandwich bags, plastic forks, and paper packaging
5- Pocket-friendly.Let’s not forget, you save a ton of money when you go bento. Where a typical lunch may cost upwards of $20.00, a prepackaged bento boxed lunch will only run you a couple bucks, especially if you utilize last night’s dinner leftovers.
Trying to run a gluten-free household for patients of celiac disease can be daunting- not to mention, costly. Many food manufacturers make outstanding snacks, mixes, and breads for people who are either allergic to gluten or suffer from gluten intolerance. However good these packaged products are, they are still hard on your food budget. Cooking your own meals at home is not only cost-effective, but it also puts the restrictive diet control back where it belongs- in your capable hands.
Gluten is a common ingredient in all products containing wheat, barley, corn, rye, spelt, Kamut and triticale. By stocking up on whole, gluten-free certified flours, like bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and brown rice flour, you can make any of these tasty gluten-free copycat versions of your favorite meals and snacks.
Prepackaged gluten-free mixes are convenient, but let’s face it- they’re expensive. Why pay extra for the paper packaging, when you can make your own version at home? Save money and a tree at the same time. In Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, blogger Heidi shares her instructions for “boxed” gluten free mac and cheese that even your kids can make, using powdered cheddar cheese and your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Instead of heading for the supermarket freezer aisle, make these crunchy, juicy copycat gluten-freechicken nuggets at home. You’ll love the fresh taste, the healthy allergy-free ingredients, and the convenience of being able to adapt the recipe to your own liking or dietary needs. Use the money you saved to splurge on dessert, like gluten-free ice cream.
All-purpose gluten-free baking mix should be a staple in your gluten-free kitchen. Use it to make breads, cakes, cookies, and other recipes that typically contain white flour. Bob’s Red Mill makes an excellent mix containing a blend of bean flours, tapioca, and potato starch. In a pinch, you can make your own version at home, using these copycat instructions from the Gluten Free Cooking School.
The Jiffy brand cornbreadmix contains white flour- not an option if you’re on a gluten-free diet. This allergy-free, non-glutinous fluffy cornbread muffin recipe incorporates brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. See blogger Lisa Whitaker’s page, Extraordinary Life, for many more gluten-free copycat recipes that you’ll love.
These healthy gluten-free bagels are a delicious knock-off of a popular gluten-free bakery line of breads and treats. These bagels take some time to make, but you’ll agree that it was worth the effort when you try them. Set aside enough time to make a large batch of flavorful sorghum-buckwheat bagels, and toss a bunch in the freezer for later- if they even last that long.
See Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop, for an interview with Babycakes owner, Erin McKenna. In it, Erin gives away a few of her celeb-faved Babycakes recipes, including instructions for gluten-free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon Poppy Teacake, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Vanilla Frosting. Try these at home!
In the Learning How to Cook…Gluten Free! Site, celiac disease-patient blogger gives shows you how she took a copycat recipe for the famous chewy Girl Scout cookie treat and made it her own by substituting gluten-free flour for all-purpose white flour. Enjoy the all-American favorite cookie, topped with coconut, caramel, and a chocolate ribbon, without the gluten!
Larabars are deliciously sweet, all-natural energy bars that will satisfy your celiac-sweet tooth. Flavors range from Pecan Pie, Key Lime, and Carrot Cake to Chocolate Peanut Butter and Ginger Snap. This Livestrong article tells you how to make your own Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars, using fresh almonds, dates, and organicchocolate chips.