Iron Deficiency Anemia in Celiac Disease

Nutrients. 2021 May 17;13(5):1695. doi: 10.3390/nu13051695.


The iron absorption process developsmainly in the proximal duodenum. This portion of the intestine is typically destroyed in celiac disease (CD), resulting in a reduction in absorption of iron and subsequent iron deficiency anemia (IDA). In fact, the most frequent extra-intestinal manifestation (EIM) of CD is IDA, with a prevalence between 12 and 82% (in relation with the various reports) in patients with new CD diagnosis. The primary treatment of CD is the gluten-free diet (GFD), which is associated with adequate management of IDA, if present. Iron replacement treatment historically has been based on oral products containing ferrous sulphate (FS). However, the absorption of FS is limited in patients with active CD and unpredictable in patients on a GFD. Furthermore, a poor tolerability of this kind of ferrous is particularly frequent in patients with CD or with other inflammatory bowel diseases. Normalization from anemic state typically occurs after at least 6 months of GFD, but the process can take up to 2 years for iron stores to replenish.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Iron deficiency Anemia; iron absorption.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diet therapy*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / etiology
  • Celiac Disease / complications
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Celiac Disease / physiopathology
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Duodenum / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron Deficiencies*


  • Iron