New research published in Haematologica, The Hematology Journal in Europe, confirms anemia – or low iron – is a significant problem for people with undiagnosed celiac disease, and in many cases goes away when celiac is diagnosed and a gluten-free diet begins.

It is well known that many undiagnosed celiacs can be anemic, but the research abstract says there is “…scant data…available about the prevalence of anemia of chronic disease in celiac disease.” The research found 34% of celiacs studied, had what they described as “anemia of chronic disease”, or anemia associated with a chronic disease – like undiagnosed celiac disease.

The conclusion shows the gluten-free diet improves anemia. In most cases, it corrects “… iron and vitamin malabsorption as well as mechanisms contributing to anemia of chronic disease.” More proof that doctors should be looking or continue to look at anemia a symptom of celiac disease.

The research was published in Haematologica’s December 2008 edition. You can read much more detail on the study in Haematologica, or in the abstract, which often has a more easily-understood version of the study.

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