Depending on how badly your villi were damaged will determine how long it takes them to be healed and for you to start absorbing the iron that you need. Most people it only takes a few weeks to months to heal. A few people take longer. I have heard up to two years. Some time you will never be able to properly absorb nutrients properly. I have that problem with B12. I have to have injections because I can not absorb it. And I have been GF sine 1994. Talk to your doctor again to find out what you could be taking or doing to correct this.
You didn't mention how long you've been gf, but it doesn't sound like very long? My first follow up was around 6 months. It took me longer to get up my ferritin. I had "Marsh Stage III" - there are four "stages" of "shag carpet" deterioration, the fourth being so bad you might not recuperate. If you had an endoscopy, you can ask for the pathology report and/or ask what your Marsh classification was.
You could always ask the doc for an iron absorption test (my hematologist did mine). You fast, but can drink water. They draw a "before" blood test. You take a specific amount of liquid iron and take an "after" blood test a couple of hours later. There may have been more "after" tests, I don't remember, but you get the idea.
I don't recommend liquid iron on a regular basis, unless you like the look of gray stained teeth. The stains dissipate after a while, though. I don't remember the brand, but it was in the hospital pharmacy. (Does Liquid Geritol stain teeth?)
I have taken iron supplements and tested my levels for a little over four years. Only last month was I told I could stop. In the past when I stopped taking it, my ferritin dropped (as with other supplements like Vit D and B12). I really try to take them now. (When your ferritin drops too low, then your hemoglobin goes low.)
You could also cook in an iron skillet.
It's too soon for you to worry about IV iron (my hematologist told me I don't want to have to do that. It hurts, but I never did it, so I couldn't tell you.)
Keep your chin up, and be fastidious if you have gluten in the house. Personally, I was an emotional wreck and found I had to have a gf kitchen to not be in panic mode all the time. I did clean the toaster oven rack before using it for toast (I don't have a "toaster") rather than buy a new one. I didn't buy new pots as mine were not rimmed and full of nooks and crannies, and they were slick stainless steel. I didn't buy new bowls, dishes, glasses or flatware; but I did buy new baking pans and sheets. I try to not use plastic anything.
I used Sam's Club label Member's Mark iron, fyi.
Edited by: DOTSLADY at: 8/25/2010 (23:00)
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OK - I thought I had checked them but I will double check. I made a mistake of not reading a label THOROUGHLY earlier in the week and had some major pain to remind me to not forget again! I don't like it when that happens.
You have to be careful of those vitamins too. Make sure that you check to see if there is wheat in them.
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I just finished my apple for today. I find that if I take liquid Geritol, I can get my iron counts high enough to give blood. Without the liquid supplement, it is still too low. I have tried the one a day plus iron and it just doesn't work for me. I hope you can find something that works for you as getting your iron level up tends to give you more energy.
In non-celiac people the surface area of the small intestine is covered in villi which number in the billions and resemble a shag carpet. Continued irritation and inflammation of the gut lining (whether from gluten, casein, or any other food allergen), causes malabsorption by reducing the overall surface area of the lining. The villi become flattened and resemble an old thin thread-bare carpet. Therefore you body cannot absorb the nutriants it needs.
If you eat an apple a day, the pectin in the apple will re-strengthen the intestinal villi. It can actually restore it to its natural state of health.
Do I eat an apple a day? You bet I do.
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After my daughter was diagnosed the rest of the family continued to eat cheerios for breakfast. My daughter still exhibited signs of contamination. I thought it was from preschool. The the aide in the class room was familiar with gluten free and insisted it was not happening there. We removed that last glutenous product from the house and the symptoms went away. only the dust from pouring the cereal in the kitchen. We use glass bowls and metal spoons.
My only suggestion is until you are completely healthy your whole family go gluten free for you health. We are a family of six. Although we may want gluten for the love of our celiac members we eat gluten free.
Well, the dr. said that if the GF diet isn't under control than in some people the iron won't get absorbed no matter what type of supplement as it is absorbed in the same spot that the celiac's disease attacks. He's prescribing me iron but said that in three months if that didn't work I would have to get iron fed through an IV. Yikes!
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I just got back from a depressing meeting with my GI dr to discuss my latest labs. The good news is I'm no longer off the charts in my celiac numbers. The bad news is they are still really low. And I'm not absorbing iron, in fact, I'm heading rapidly towards anemia, he said. Well, I've been following the diet religiously but my son and husband don't. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to prevent cross-contamination? Does everything have to be separate? Plates, bowls, glasses, silverware, cooking utensils? And if this is the case, do I have to buy new everything or can I just really scrub the things I have?
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