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Celiac Disease Quadruples Risk of Osteoporosis


Photo: CC-fromcolettewithlove

Celiac.com 07/01/2011 - People with celiac disease, who otherwise have no risk for osteoporosis, face a risk of developing progressive bone loss that is more than four times higher than the general population. This according to a study by the researchers from the Lancaster University School of Health and Medicine in the UK.

In the latest study, the team took bone mass density readings of participants' skeletal health using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans. They did this for more than 1,000 adults with celiac disease. The results showed that the lumbar vertebrae of individuals with celiac disease showed significantly lower bone density than those of healthy individuals. The team announced their findings at the European League Against Rheumatism's 2011 Annual Congress.

No subject in the study had other risk factors for bone loss, and the team concluded that celiac disease increased the prospect of osteoporosis by a factor of four and a half, even among otherwise healthy adults.

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Because lumbar vertebrae sit at the base the spinal column, they take the most pressure, and thus, a more likely place for osteoporosis-related fractures.

In the U.S., vertebral pressure fractures are the most common skeletal injury caused by progressive bone loss. Over a half a million vertebral pressure fractures occur each year, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

The UK study just the latest to show a connection between celiac disease and poor bone health. A 2010 report from Canada's University of Alberta that the average child with gluten allergies got less than half the amount of required vitamin K, as well as too little vitamin D.

The research team suggests that dietary supplements may improve nutrition in children with celiac disease, and thus reduce the likelihood that they will develop osteoporosis.

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2 Responses:

 
SandraB
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said this on
04 Jul 2011 3:24:34 AM PDT
This is not surprising, but very worrying. What about all those women with undiagnosed celiac disease who are pregnant and breastfeeding? Google Professor Christopher Kovacs, Calcium metabolism during pregnancy and lactation. Bone mineral content falls by up to 10 per cent after six months breast feeding in normal women. Pregnancy may induce significant skeletal losses in some women and predispose to fracture. This is a very strong argument for wider screening for celiac disease.
It may well be that gluten sensitivity will also be shown to produce absorption and similar bone problems.

 
Dawn Swanson
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
05 Jul 2011 2:06:58 PM PDT
Knowing that celiac disease increases the risk is good. However, it is lacking sufficient information on what to do about it if you have celiac disease.




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I wish you lived near here, I have the greatest massage therapist she does Swedish style, She can loosen up the stressed tight muscles wonderfully, I am prone to getting knots in my shoulders and neck, so I have to have them worked out once a month otherwise they start to limit mobility and hurt.

Oh, I did.... was referred to pt which hasn't helped at all. My muscles are super tight and they supposedly are causing the back pain. No idea what originally caused the problem but it started a couple years ago and has just gotten worse.

Than you for your replies. You have given me a lot of think about?

Maybe you should have your back checked by a doctor, if the pain is constant and is not improving. You could be developing another AI issue like Ankylosing Spondylitis. At least consider trying to find the cause (compressions fractures, slipped disk, whatever).

A smart woman, our cycling lady is! I would heed her advice.