Celiac.com 01/14/2002 - According to a report in the electronic version of Pediatrics for November 2001, Osteopenia is often found in children with untreated celiac disease. A strict gluten-free diet will promote an increase in bone mineral density (BMD) values, but even after a year of treatment they may not return to normal. In their study, Dr. Ayhan Gazi Kalayci, of Ondokuz Mayia University, Samsun, Turkey, and colleagues evaluated 32 children with celiac disease and 82 healthy control subjects. The patients were separated into two groups of 16, one that consisted of patients who had been recently diagnosed (within the average of 3.2 years), and the other which consisted of patients who had followed a strict gluten-free diet for 19 to 84 months.
Results: Patients with recently diagnosed celiac disease had significantly lower BMD and bone mineral content levels than control subjects, and the BMD levels increased significantly after one year on a gluten-free diet. According to Dr. Kalayci, more follow-up studies will be needed to determine whether re-mineralization will continue in the subjects, and a complete recovery of bone mass can be achieved.