Folate Insufficiency Due to Celiac Disease in a 49-Year-Old Woman of Southeast Asian-Indian Ethnicity

Ananya Datta Mitra, Asha Gupta, Ishwarlal Jialal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The clinical presentation of celiac disease has evolved from chronic diarrhea and malnutrition to mild nutrient insufficiencies. Recently diagnosed adults with celiac disease should be assessed for micronutrient deficiencies because early institution of a gluten-free diet (GFD) prevents morbidity and reduces the incidence of gastrointestinal malignant neoplasms and osteoporosis. In this report, we present the case of a 49-year-old woman of Southeast Asian-Indian descent living in the United States who had folate insufficiency, as manifested by low serum and red blood cell (RBC) folate levels. Further investigation, including serologic testing and intestinal biopsy, confirmed a diagnosis of celiac disease and other nutrient deficiencies. Managing the condition of this patient with folate supplements and implementation of a recommended GFD reversed the folate insufficiency. In conclusion, when serum and/or RBC levels are low in a person of Southeast Asian-Indian descent living in a country with folate fortification of the grain supply, such as the United States, the medical team needs to look for an organic cause, as in our patient, to diagnose and manage celiac disease early and, hopefully, forestall complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-262
Number of pages4
JournalLaboratory Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • celiac disease
  • folate insufficiency
  • gluten free diet
  • intraepithelial lymphocytes
  • Southeast Asian Indian
  • villous blunting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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