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

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.

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.

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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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5 Responses:

 
Sally Dellas
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said this on
18 Nov 2013 10:27:48 AM PDT
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.

 
G Hartley Lac
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said this on
19 Nov 2013 8:17:15 AM PDT
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.

 
Jacquie
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said this on
19 Nov 2013 2:47:04 PM PDT
Once diagnosed with osteoporosis / osteopenia / Hashimoto disease, it would make sense to test for celiac disease, which is hardly ever thought of.

 
Carolyn Marrero
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said this on
19 Nov 2013 3:26:21 PM PDT
Very informative information.

 
Lori
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said this on
20 Nov 2013 5:55:39 PM PDT
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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We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?

Ennis, it is made out of metal, coated with plastic I think. You have such a hard time, my heart really hurts for you. But you are such a support to those on this board, and a great teacher for those of us who are new.

Thanks everyone! I think its hard for people to fully accept because they cant see the damage it does every time you get glutened. It's invisible. Im glad to know I wasnt being paranoid. I sure was when I was first diagnosed. I laugh at myself now, but its a pretty steep learning curve.

FYI......anxiety is a common symptom with celiac disease and NCGI. It seems to resolve on a gluten-free diet. ?

Yes, I will definitely update you and would love to hear what your experience is. I'm glad I found this forum because you're right--it's nice to not feel so alone. I'm also prone to anxiety--so waiting and worrying is not fun! Cyclinglady, thanks for sharing your experience as well. I do plan to maintain a gluten-free diet for a while at least if the biopsy is negative just to see how I feel.