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Celiac Center

Health Tips for Celiac Patients

  1. Healthy TipsGet treatment. Without it, people with celiac disease can develop complications such as osteoporosis, anemia, and, very rarely, cancer.
  2. Remember that people with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  3. Stick to your diet. The only treatment for celiac disease is a strict, lifelong, gluten-free diet.
  4. Consider getting involved in a local celiac disease support group.
  5. Take a daily gluten-free multivitamin
  6. See your eye doctor for regular exams on yearly basis.
  7. Inform all of your healthcare providers that you have celiac disease.
  8. Avoid the use of NSAID’s (like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen etc) as much as possible.
  9. Encourage family members to be tested for celiac disease.
  10. Get pneumococcal vaccine.
  11. Maintain adequate dietary vitamin D and calcium intake. See information below.

Be aware of your vitamin D intake

  • Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is the best form to take as a supplement.
  • The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for vitamin D is 5-15 micrograms/day (1 microgram of cholecalciferol = 40 IU vitamin D). Need increases with age. Consult with a Registered Dietitian to assess your need.
  • The body can produce Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. In Pittsburgh, you can get enough vitamin D by exposing your face, hands, and arms to the sun for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a week, with the exception of the winter months due to insufficient sunlight. Sunscreen blocks the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. Apply sunscreen after the recommended 10-15 minutes of sun exposure.
  • Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fish oils, egg yolk, fortified milk, and margarine.
  • Vitamin D content of food - Foods listed below are in micrograms. You don’t have to convert micrograms into IU. Instead, use the food label and aim to get 100% of the DV per day.

SalmonCod Liver Oil -1 tbsp. 1360 micrograms
Salmon (canned sockeye) - 3oz. 649 micrograms
Salmon (cooked) - 31/2 oz 360 micrograms
Mackerel (cooked) - 31/2oz 345 micrograms
Sardines (canned in oil, drained) - 13/4 oz 250 micrograms
Tuna (canned in oil, drained) - 3oz 200 micrograms
Milk (lowfat 1%) - 1 cup 200 micrograms
Soy Beverages (fortified) - 1 cup 100 micrograms
Orange Juice (fortified with Vit. D)- 1 cup 100 micrograms
Margarine -1 tbsp. 60 micrograms
Egg ( whole, raw) - 1 large 18 micrograms


Get adequate amount of calcium daily

  • The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for calcium is 1,000-1,200 mg daily. Calcium needs can be met through diet alone by including 3-4 servings of dairy per day.
  • If using a supplement, divide into 2 doses, as it is difficult for your body to absorb more than 500 mg at a time.
  • The two main forms of calcium supplements are carbonate and citrate. Both forms are equally absorbed well. Calcium carbonate is the most commonly available, least expensive, and should be taken with food. If you are taking any type of PPI (proton pump inhibitor) such as Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, or Aciphex, take calcium citrate.
  • Excellent sources of calcium include:

Milk and CheeseButtermilk - 1 cup 303 mg
Cheese (firm, brick, cheddar, Colby, Gouda) - 2oz 350 mg
Milk - 1 cup 315 mg
Mozzarella cheese (part skim) - 2oz 366 mg
Yogurt (plain) - 3/4cup 296 mg
Orange juice (calcium fortified) - 1cup 300-350 mg
Sardines (canned with bones,) 6 medium 324 mg
Soy Beverage (fortified) - 1 cup 312 mg

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