The Celiac – Vitamin A Deficiency Connection

Staff Writer

According to a recent study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, the “prevalence of celiac disease (CD) in the United States is unknown.” This seems incredulous considering the widespread gluten-free marketing we see everywhere, which is why Alberto Rubio-Tapia and team set out last year to provide some numbers behind this elusive autoimmune digestive disorder.

After conducting a nationally representative sample of almost 8,000 people, Rubio-Tapia and team reported that only 0.71 percent of the nation is affected by CD. It has been speculated, for instance, by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) that up to “83 percent of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.” The NFCA estimates that, due to widespread public awareness campaigns, actual diagnosis rates will reach 50 – 60 percent by 2019. If this proves to be true, the number of people diagnosed with CD will almost triple by 2020.

Unsuspected Dangers Non-Diagnosed Celiacs Have To Worry About

If most of America’s celiacs are undiagnosed, this begs the question of how many people unknowingly are undiagnosed with having celiac-related comorbidities? One such condition is Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD).

Mostly associated with eye problems like night blindness and conjunctivitis, and skin problems like acne and scleroderma, most people don’t associate VAD with other symptoms that are commonly experienced by Americans:

  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD)
  • Weak immune system
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Slow development of bones and faulty teeth
  • Loss of smell, taste or appetite
  • Reproductive problems

If you suffer from any of these symptoms and have experienced digestive issues after breads or pastas, visit your natural health care provider to get your Vitamin A levels checked. You may be surprised to see that you have CD or VAD.

Containing More Vitamin A Than Carrots, Butternut Squash Are Loaded With Nutrition

In the meantime, make sure you load up on Vitamin A rich foods like sweet potatoes, kale, and butternut squash. In fact, butternut squash tops all fruits and veggies with up to 457 percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A in just one cup serving. Full of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and Vitamin C, cooked or baked butternut squash is an energy-rich super food that many people skip in their meal plan because they don’t know what to do with it.

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