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  • Jefferson Adams

    Up to 75% of Celiac Patients Have Low Bone Mineral Density

    Jefferson Adams
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    Celiac.com 11/11/2013 - Celiac disease affects about 1-2% of people, globally. Formerly regarded as a childhood disease, most people are now diagnosed with celiac disease as adults. Many of those adults with celiac disease suffer the consequences of an impaired bone mineralization.

    Photo: Nasa Goddard Flight Center.Researchers A.J. Lucendo, and A. García-Manzanares recently sought to provide new data on the relationship between low bone mineral density (BMD), osteopenia and osteoporosis, and celiac disease. To do so, they conducted a PubMed search of last 15 years, and reviewed sources cited in the results to find potential sources of information.



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    They found that up to 75% of celiac patients show the effects of low bone mineral density. These effects can be seen can at any age, and they can be seen even with no positive serological markers an no digestive symptoms. Rates of celiac disease are also much higher among osteoporotic patients.

    Additionally, 40% of those diagnosed with celiac disease as adults show the effects of low bone mineral density. The researchers offer two possible theories to explain the causes of low bone mineral density in celiac patients. In the first theory, they note that malabsorption of micronutrients, including calcium and vitamin D, caused by villous atrophy has been related to secondary hyperparathyroidism and inability to reach normal bone mass levels. They also note that chronic inflammation is also related with RANKL secretion, osteoclasts activation and increased bone resorption.

    Whatever the cause, as a consequence, celiac patients have more than a 40% greater risk for bone fractures than their healthy counterparts.

    This study shows that up to 75% of celiac patients and 40% of celiacs diagnosed as adults have low BMD, and a variable increase in the risk of bone fractures. Such realities mean that bone density scans more important for adults with celiac disease.

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    Conversely, patients with osteoporosis or osteomalacia should be screened for gluten intolerance. I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis before my celiac diagnosis. After being gluten-free for three years, my doctor assured me my bone density was normal for my age.

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    Your immune system comes from inside your bones and in autoimmune conditions its working overtime while battling the inflammation in your body. To protect your bones get a bone calcium supplement. Both Jarrow and Now foods have quality bone calcium. Also you need to take minimum 5000 ius of D3 daily. Together this will improve your bones. If that is not enough there are Chinese herbal formulas that is work with as a licensed acupuncturist that I know for a fact are strong enough to heal osteoporosis because I've worked with a few. To get those find an acupuncturist in your area that does herbs as well. The next step is to start making bone broth soup to help heal your bones and joints and even your gut.

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    Very nice to finally find some research that shows this can happen. My 17 year old who does not have any digestive symptoms was diagnosed with osteoporosis this year. It was a registered dietitian who recommended she be tested for celiac. All 3 blood tests off the chart positive. It's been hard to find information on kids with this condition.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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