Tag Archives: Iron deficiency

Those Wavy Fingernails Are Not a Sign of Good Health

koilonychiaI was sitting in the waiting room at the Honda dealer last Friday and a middle aged woman next to me mentioned she had celiac disease after hearing me turn down a complimentary pastry. We got to talking and it turns out she was diagnosed 17 years ago.

She started asking questions once she found out what I do. She said she cooks 100% gluten-free, but is sometimes anemic and used to get vitamin B12 injections which made her feel great. I asked how often she ate out. Twice per week.

I asked to see her fingernails. They looked like the image here, spoon shaped and upturned.

Looking up her nail symptoms on our Gluten Free Works Health Guide on my phone, I told her it was koilonychia, from iron deficiency. She said they had always looked that way as far back as she could remember.

Neither her gastroenterologist, nor her endocrinologist picked up on it. After telling me she was on Prevacid and Gaviscon, I told her why her hair was thin and how the acid reflux drugs she had been taking were impairing her nutrient absorption. She thought she had high acid.

I told her my opinion based on her history and symptoms was low acid. Her doctors knew none of this, but it was all in the Health Guide. Doctors don’t know and Google is unreliable. The Gluten Free Works Health Guide will help you. It can be as simple as looking at your nails. 

Restless Leg Syndrome, Celiac Disease & Improvement on the Gluten Free Diet

 

restless leg syndrome treatment

RLS from low iron in celiac disease responds to a gluten-free diet

Low iron levels have been associated with increased severity of restless leg syndrome. The following medical case report discusses four patients with low iron and restless leg syndrome who were tested positive for celiac disease and placed on a gluten free diet. All four had improvement on the gluten free diet.

“Celiac disease as a Possible Cause for Low Serum Ferritin in Patients with Restless Legs Syndrome.”

Manchanda S, Davies CR, Picchietti D.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Medicine, 506 S. Mathews Avenue, Suite 190, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To describe celiac disease as a possible cause for low serum ferritin in patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS). BACKGROUND: Low iron stores have been found to be a risk factor for RLS with serum ferritin levels less than 45-50ng/mL associated with increased severity of RLS. It has become routine clinical practice to test serum ferritin in the initial assessment of RLS. Celiac disease is a common genetic disorder that can cause iron deficiency.

METHODS: Consecutive case series of four patients with RLS and serum ferritin below 25ng/mL, who had positive screening tests for celiac disease. RESULTS: We report four patients who had serum ferritin <12ng/mL and positive screening tests for celiac disease. All had celiac disease confirmed by duodenal biopsy and response to a gluten-free diet. RLS symptoms improved in all four, with two able to discontinue RLS medication and two responding without medication.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with RLS and low serum ferritin who do not have an obvious cause for iron deficiency, we suggest looking for celiac disease by simple, inexpensive serologic testing. Diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease is likely to improve the outcome for RLS, as well as identify individuals who are at risk for the significant long-term complications of celiac disease.

Source: Sleep Med. 2009 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print] url: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19138881

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