Many people think that anemia is only caused by blood loss, either through trauma or hemorrhage or excessive blood cell destruction. It occurs when the blood does not have enough hemoglobin, which is the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin.
Iron deficiency anemia is an advanced stage of iron deficiency. When the body has sufficient iron to meets its needs, the remainder is stored for later use in the bone marrow, liver, and spleen. A person who has no 'stored' iron has no reserves to use if the body requires more iron. This can cause problems for growth and development.
Iron deficiency anemia can be the result of malabsorption of food associated with celiac disease.
Food that is not completely digested in the stomach and/or by the time it passes through the small intestine, will not be absorbed as it passes through the large intestine. Therefore, many vitamins and minerals in the food that is eaten will pass through the entire intestional tract without being properly absorbed. This is one side effect of celiac disease, because, as a result of the gluten protein being contained in many foods, it damages the “villi” so the food that is eaten cannot be properly absorbed and end up passing through undigested.
Gluten intolerance causes the villi – tiny hair-like projections in the small intestine that absorbs nutrients – to become damaged due to an immunological reaction to the gluten. Damaged villi interfere with the human body's ability to absorb basic nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals. If left untreated, small bowel damage can be chronic and life threatening, and may lead to an increased risk of nutritional and immune-associated disorders.