[Editor’s Note: The post below is a response to a young woman with cataracts and celiac disease. Cataracts are directly related to nutrient deficiencies of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, protein, vitamin C and possibly vitamin B2 in celiac disease. -Updated 6/13/2016 from Gluten Free Works Health Guide: Cataracts]
I am 20 years old, have celiac disease and cataracts. The optometrist told me it is because I have fair skin and light eyes and have had too much sun exposure. I grew up in Mobile, AL and spent everyday I could at the beach so this could be true. It is very interesting that you brought up this topic though. It never crossed my mind that these two could have anything to do with each other.
Many eye problems are found in celiac disease. Cataracts are directly related to nutrient deficiencies. “Cataract formation, a feature of vitamin A deficiency and long standing hypocalcemia, is characterized by clouding of the lens of the eye. In celiac disease, it results from malabsorption of vitamin A and calcium. Vitamin B2 may be involved. GFD (gluten-free diet) is preventive and limits further changes.” (Recognizing Celiac Disease, p. 213) That said, we know that malnutrition can persist on a GFD due to unintentional gluten ingestion, poor diet, etc. Ask your physician to take levels of vitamin A, B2 and calcium to make sure you are absorbing adequate amounts.
Learn more about cataracts in celiac disease and how to prevent them and limit further damage in the Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide: Cataracts.
Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.