5 Nutritional Deficiencies All Coeliacs NEED to Know About (and an amazing GF giveaway)

I’ve blogged before about how nutritional deficiencies and gut health issues often go hand in hand. Not only do conditions like coeliac disease make absorbing nutrients more difficult but a restricted diet can also lead to missing out on key vitamins and minerals too.

I’ve written about nutritional deficiencies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease previously-but today I wanted to zoom in on which deficiencies those of you with coeliac disease need to look out for too! I’ve teamed up with gluten-free essentials company Juvela to share my tips and suggestions on how to make sure those of you with coeliac disease aren’t missing out on key nutrients.

1. Iron

You’ve probably heard that anaemia is one of the most common extraintestinal manifestation of Coeliac Disease. The problem is, it’s common particularly in women so when first presented, doctors often don’t recognise it as a symptom-and put it down to heavy periods or not eating enough meat.

Yet, according to Coeliac UK, almost a quarter of coeliacs have anaemia (more on that here); with more potentially having depleted iron stores too. Once diagnosed, the deficiency doesn’t automatically go away either. It takes time to repair ourselves and many sources of reinforced iron (such as breakfast cereal) are off the market now you’re gluten-free.

That’s why it’s so important to keep on top of your levels and seek alternative sources. Low iron levels is something I’ve struggled with on and off over the years. And, as levels can’t be instantly restored, it’s important to not leave things until they are running on empty!

One reason why I’d recommend Juvela to new coeliacs is that, unlike many gluten-free products, they’re reinforced with vitamins and minerals too. For example, using their Gluten-free Mixes instead of another flour mix means you’re also getting a good source of iron too alongside other vitamins. Iron supplements can cause digestive issues in themselves so reinforced foods are a great alternative.

Vitamin D

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I go on about Vitamin D A LOT. Sorry about that, but vitamin D deficiency is so common; and since we have vitamin D receptors in our gut-if our gut isn’t happy, we’re likely to be lacking in the sunshine vitamin too!

Vitamin D deficiency can cause all sorts of issues-including problems with bone development (which we all know those with coeliac disease are additionally at risk at). The government recommends everyone takes a 10iu dose during winter months but it could be worth getting your levels tested to see if you need a higher dose. I personally take liquid vitamin D drops (at 1000iu strength) as I was insufficient at my last check-up.


Low bone density is a common problem for those with coeliac disease. In fact, Coeliac UK suggest that up to 75% of those newly diagnosed with coeliac disease have reduced bone density (more info here)

The problem is, that many people are diagnosed after many years of symptoms; meaning their body has been struggling with depleted calcium levels for years. When we don’t have enough calcium in our body, we actually take it from our bones (weird, I know) which means they are more likely to break or soften. And without the support of Vitamin D too, things are even more problematic.

Calcium is incredibly important and many people will take a supplement initially. However, even when you’ve supplement, it’s still important to get it from food sources too. Both Juvela’s bread and flour mixes provide a source of calcium, but if you’re dairy-free too; make sure you always buy reinforced plant-based milk. Calcium works with Vitamin D so you’ll need them both to get results!

B Vitamins

When I learnt about how many problems low vitamin B can cause, I was shocked! When people ask me about fatigue, I always recommend getting B Vitamins checked-because they are linked to so many aspects of our health; not only fatigue (Which is a problem for lots of us, am I right?) A scientific study showed 41% of coeliac patients were deficient in B12-and whilst this may normalise, you still might need to supplement.

B6 and B9 (folic acid) are other common problems. Both of these can cause low energy, and also mood changes and nerve issues (such as tingling). Folic acid is particularly important for women if they’re hoping to conceive or are pregnant.

Meat and eggs are good sources of the B vitamins-which can make things trickier if you’re not a big meat eater. Again, Juvela can help top up your levels-their entire bread and flour range contain B1, B2, B6, B9 and B3- making them great, all-round products!

An example of the nutrition information in Juvela’s flour mix

5. Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is often talked about but it’s more common than you think. A study in 2013 found around 20% of coeliacs can suffer with low levels-but actually, it’s thought that almost all of the population could be depleted in Magnesium in some ways. Being stressed constantly can

actually lower our magnesium-as can things like drinking less tap water (since it’s such a good source) and being dehydrated (as we lose electrolytes when this happens). The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are things like cramping muscles, anxiety and trouble sleeping.

Magnesium is absorbed in our intestines-which means if our intestines aren’t in tip-top shape, we might not be taking what we should.  Interestingly, magnesium and calcium compete in the body: meaning if you’re doctor has prescribed ultra-strength calcium tablets when you’re first diagnosed, it might have a knock on effect to the levels of Magnesium in your body. Because of this, you don’t want to take ultra-high doses and it’s wise to get your levels tested before supplementing (so your calcium levels aren’t affected). Rather than supplement, I recommend a Magnesium Spray which can be used before bed to improve sleep too.

And a note about Fibre

As well as missing out vital nutrients, giving up gluten also runs the risk of inadvertently cutting back on fibre -since so many of our usual wholegrain choices are out of the question. Fibre is vital for our gut health and can actually help us absorb our nutrients better.

Lots of the time, we replace wholegrains with things like rice, white flour and potatoes-all of which are much lower in fibre. We should all be eating 30g of fibre a day, but the NHS predicts that the average person actually only manages 19g. If you’re struggling to get a fibre boost whilst being gluten-free, that’s where Juvela can help. As well as being rich in nutrients, they’re focused on delivering on fibre too. In particular, their Gluten Free Fibre mix contains a whopping 11g of fibre per 100g; that’s over a third of your daily requirement! They also do a fresh fibre roll (with 5g fibre per roll) and fresh fibre loaf (which has 3g per 2 slices).

I hope this blog post was useful. You can see that having coeliac disease isn’t just about a gluten-free diet and it’s vital you keep on top of any nutritional deficiencies too.
Of course, supplementing is important; but using a product like Juvela’s bread and flours -which are available on prescription and in some Supermarkets- can help ensure you’re getting plenty of nutrition and meeting your daily fibre requirements through food sources too!

Time for a giveaway!

If you need some help getting started, you’re in luck! I’m giving away a whole bundle of Juvela’s gluten-free products. Just enter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This post has been written in collaboration with Juvela


  1. January 6, 2019 / 3:30 pm

    Very helpful post. I didn’t have typical coeliac symptoms, but blood tests revealed I was deficient in some nutrients and further testing revealed I had coeliac disease. Since changing my diet, my levels have normalised (low side of normal), so I know the diet is working. But I had already developed osteoporosis, which isn’t so easy to fix.

    • Healthyglobetrotting
      January 6, 2019 / 9:39 pm

      THANK you and yes i think deficiencies should be a more recognised symptom of coeliac disease! Sorry to hear you are struggling with osteoporosis though!

  2. Tracy Newton
    January 6, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    I am actually really interested in trying the breakfast cereal. It would be great to grab something quick on a morning. Although I have been diagnosed Coeliac for about fifteen years, I still miss breakfast cereal.

  3. T Brailey
    January 7, 2019 / 6:06 am

    This would be for my mum and I know that she would also pick the breakfast cereal as that is what she always misses.

  4. January 7, 2019 / 8:39 am

    Interested in trying breakfast cereal. It’s my favourite meal of the day and is essential to good health.

  5. tess
    January 7, 2019 / 11:31 am

    the juvela harvest mix sounds delicious

  6. Christina
    January 7, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    When I was first diagnosed I had low levels of vitamin D, folic acid and iron. The vitamin D is sorted but i’m still working on the other two

  7. ElizM
    January 7, 2019 / 5:05 pm

    the white mix would be handy

  8. Leanne
    January 7, 2019 / 5:40 pm

    I love the Juvela products, especially the bread and cobs!

  9. January 7, 2019 / 6:05 pm

    I would love the white mix so that I can bake a Birthday cake

  10. January 7, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    Lots of useful info to digest if you’ll pardon the pun. Sorry cant follow on Instagram but I do follow on Twitter and Facebook

  11. Fiona Mcbride
    January 7, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    breakfast cereal as hard t find nice ones

  12. Carole Nott
    January 8, 2019 / 9:32 pm

    The harvest white mix looks like a great product – this would be very welcome

    January 8, 2019 / 9:35 pm

    I think for myself it would have to be the white rolls

  14. Theresa Wakeley
    January 8, 2019 / 10:54 pm

    I would love to try the white rolls… Infact all of them!

  15. January 9, 2019 / 10:25 pm

    Such a useful post – as ever Jenna! My gut is flaring after Christmas, so anything that can help is always welcome advice. You are positively blooming BTW, C x

  16. john prendergast
    January 9, 2019 / 11:55 pm

    The breakfast cereal

  17. Adrian Bold
    January 10, 2019 / 1:27 am

    I would love to try the Breakfast Cereal

  18. jamie banks
    January 10, 2019 / 7:06 am

    breakfast cereal xx

  19. Claire Naylor
    January 10, 2019 / 10:05 am

    The products are for my 7yo daughter and she is excited for me to get the white bread mix as always needing the BEST bread we can!

  20. betsy ferguson
    January 10, 2019 / 8:42 pm

    I love to bake, so the white mix would be great x

  21. Evette Williams
    January 11, 2019 / 4:15 am

    I’m looking forward to trying the white rolls. I really miss bread and haven’t found any I’m keen on.

  22. paula cheadle
    January 12, 2019 / 11:35 am

    I would love to try the bread mix

  23. Margaret Gallagher
    January 12, 2019 / 10:53 pm

    Breakfast cereals – perfect healthy start to the day

  24. jo liddement
    January 13, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    The Fresh Fibre Rolls look really nice for packed lunches

  25. Claire jones
    January 16, 2019 / 9:32 pm

    I would love to try these, you get stuck with the same old things sometimes for convenience

  26. astridc
    January 18, 2019 / 10:39 am

    would love to try the breakfast cereal x

  27. Roisin M
    January 19, 2019 / 1:31 am

    The breakfast cereals sound delicious

  28. Abigail
    January 21, 2019 / 12:40 am

    The breakfast cereal sounds great!

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