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txnmaryann

I Had A Bone Density Test Today

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Great, one more wonderful side affect from this lovely condition. I am only 40 years old!!! Both drs., the OB/GYN that gave me the test, and later my GI dr. found it very disconcecrting that I was at this point at such a young age. I have been put on Boniva and told to take mega doses of Calcium. I've been gluten free for about a month but am wondering.....am I going to absorb the calcium now????? Anyone else deal with this and reverse it?? OB/GYN says we'll do this and repeat the test in 2 years and see how my bones look then.

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You might want to look into some other ideas on how to increase your calcium as well, and if so, I thought I could get you started. I looked into it after I found some research had shown that some women taking calcium supplements actually had more broken bones than those who did not. Unfortunately, I can't recall where I saw the study, but I do recall it was a mainstream source. Anyway, regardless of whether you take pills and the like, you might want to make sure you're not doing so for naught.

Some ideas I've run accross in my research:

no soy. Soy blocks the absorption of minerals, including calcium.

no nightshades. Nightshades require calcium in order to digest. If you don't have enough calcium in the meal, it will leech from your bones. Nighshades include: tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers (not black pepper), and tobacco. Smoking depletes your body of calcium as well. So if you eat them, combine them with things in the good/easy sources section.

dairy is not the best source. The ratio of calcium to phosphorous in cow's milk is 1.27:1 - it is 2.35:1 in human milk. It is believed that phosphoous can combine with calcium in the digestive tract and actually prevent the absorption of calcium. Mathematically, that would means mom's milk gives you net 1.35 calcium, where cow's milk only gives you net .27.

easy/good sources: beans and nuts; greens, especially leafy greens and broccoli; sea vegetables; sesame seeds and tahini; canned salmon or sardines with bones; soups made with bones.

vitamin D is required. The sun is the best source.

an acid condition leeches calcium. too much high protein foods, wine/vinegar/citris, concentrated sugars, and coffee/alcohol/and salt CAN all steal calcium.

weight bearing excercise is a must. walking, running, lifting weights, anything where you are excercising while holding your own weight up (so not swimming or bicycling or rowing). This is really a mandatory part of any program to rebuild bone mass.

Also, I'm doing the paleo diet. It postulates that eating grains and legumes would leech calcium from your system as well.

I hope this helps give you other ideas as well. I know that we have to build our bones back while we're still able - I'm on board with you there.

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Good Post Bully - that gelatin on top of the soup is good also.

The bones in the soup are really a good source.

Maybe I'll start a thread if someone has a GOOD soup with bones. :)

I posted for recipes. Maybe we'll get something good.

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I want to add that at this point you're likely deficient in Vitamin D and magnesium as well. If you only take calcium, your body won't use it, magnesium and vitamin D are needed in the right proportions. Just sunshine won't be enough right now for enough vitamin D, you need to take a supplement that has calcium, magnesium and vitamin D in it. And extra vitamin D in the form of cod liver oil is an excellent idea (Carlson brand is the best, and doesn't taste gross). Because your body can't absorb calcium at all without vitamin D!

It has actually been found that dairy from cows CAUSES osteoporosis, rather than preventing it. You'd be well advised to eliminate all dairy from your diet. As somebody put it: The largest dinosaurs had enormous bones (some as thick as our bodies), how did they build such massive bones? Certainly not with milk, but by eating green vegetation! And that is your best bet for calcium from your diet: Green, leafy vegetables.

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I eat alot of romaine. Collards would be good also, right Ursala?

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As somebody put it: The largest dinosaurs had enormous bones (some as thick as our bodies), how did they build such massive bones? Certainly not with milk, but by eating green vegetation! And that is your best bet for calcium from your diet: Green, leafy vegetables.

Err...some of those dinosaurs obtained calcium the same way modern predators do: they ate their prey bones and all.

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I have heard some scary stuff about those prescription bone builders. Please check into alternative methods if possible.

I'm trying to get mine from food. :)

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Err...some of those dinosaurs obtained calcium the same way modern predators do: they ate their prey bones and all.

True, but the largest of them were plant eaters.

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I think that (regardless of where you are getting it from) the most important thing to do is increase your calcium right now. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to get it.

Now for some encouraging news: my mom was 50 and premenopausal when she was diagnosed with celiac. She asked for a bone scan, and found that she had 40% bone loss in her hips - that counts as full osteoporosis. She took perscription bone builders (whatever the most common osteoporosis medicationis . . . I forget the name, though I'd remember it right away if someone said it :)) and mega doses of calcium. Most importantly, though, she went gluten free.

A couple of years ago, one of my husband's lab magazines (he runs bloodwork at the regional hospital here) ran a story on celiac. It mentioned that Tissue Transglutaminase (TTG) is produced by your body in an attempt to heal your intestinal damage. And the TTG uses calcium in that attempt. So once you stop eating gluten and give your intestines a chance to heal, your body will no longer make the TTG, which will therefore no longer snitch the calcium that your bones need. This means that (even at your current calcium intake levels) you will have more calcium available for bone building.

Soon after her diagnosis, my mom spoke to an osteo-doctor who told her: Aren't you glad you discovered that celiac is your problem (refering to the osteoporosis) while you're still young and can do something about it? (Again, she was 50 - 10 years older than you are!) She told my mom that she was likely to build bone strength after going gluten-free . . . and she was right! At my mom's next dexa scan (can't remember if it was 1 or 2 years after going gluten-free) she was one the verge of going out of osteoporosis, back into osteopenia.

So the answer to your initial question is: Yes! You will start to absorb more calcium, and you CAN reverse the osteopenia. Stay with the gluten free diet, do the things that help with bone building (like weight bearing exercise, etc.) and check it in 2 years, like your doc suggested. I'd be very surprised if you haven't added considerable bone mass.

Best Wishes!

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I'm 32 and just got a bone density test and have osteopenia as well. This is so disconcerning! They rated me at -1.4, (-1.0--2.4 is considered osteopenia levels). I have to meet with a rhumatologist to go over the results in 3 weeks. Is there anything I should tell them, about having Celiac?

My general practitioner wants me to go on Fosomax- I'm breastfeeding currently (6 month old son) and don't want to take Fosomax as there isn't much known about that drug with breastfeeding (since I guess most people who take it are out of child bearing age!). I'm all for eating greens.

Do you think I should meet again with a dietician after all of my tests have been completed (PTH intact, phosphorous level, urinalisis for thyroid issues)? I've alread had blood tests for iron (a little low), calcium (ok), magnesium (ok), folate (ok) and vitamin D (ok). Does anyone know why I would have bone thinning and then have my blood levels ok on all of the above? Would 2 months of being gluten-free when I had the blood tests done make a difference?

Thanks to those of you who posted above with the words of encouragement about re-gaining bone mass!

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actually, if you look at the studies of osteoporisis in celiacs, you'll see a couple studies that note that magnesium intake may be more important than calcium intake for celiacs. make sure you're getting at *least* a 2:1 calcium to magnesium ratio, and don't skimp on the D and zinc. and don't skimp on the weight bearing exercise either.

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Great, one more wonderful side affect from this lovely condition. I am only 40 years old!!! Both drs., the OB/GYN that gave me the test, and later my GI dr. found it very disconcecrting that I was at this point at such a young age. I have been put on Boniva and told to take mega doses of Calcium. I've been gluten free for about a month but am wondering.....am I going to absorb the calcium now????? Anyone else deal with this and reverse it?? OB/GYN says we'll do this and repeat the test in 2 years and see how my bones look then.

I hope you will. I don't know for a 40 yr old, but I'm 14 and had osteoporosis!! I'm in osteopinia now, and in a week (so excited!!!) I go and get another bone scan done!!! I follow the diet, take Ctrical (largest dosage) and take this kind of infsion drug that hopefully I will leave behind forever. (AGAIN, DECIDED NEXT WEEK!!!!)

My aunt, she has a similar problem, I think she was 36 yrs. old when she was diagnosed w/ osteoporosis and they have never figured out what caused it. She Does NOT have Celiac.

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Beaglemania, your aunt probably does have celiac. she should have her genes tested at Enterolab and also the gluten sensitivity test. So many people fall thru the cracks on diagnosis, with negative blood tests. My opinion is that a negative blood test cannot rule out celiac. You can only rule it in with a positive blood test, there is a big difference that is causing harm to a lot of people...

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txnmaryann,

I know how you feel. Two years ago at age 30 (one year after I discovered I had celiac disease - age 29) I was diagnosed with osteopenia- they wanted me to be on gluten-free diet for at least one year before they would give me a bone density scan since they say you can regain some bone mass in the first year. I take Actonel 1X wk and 1500 mg of calcium + magnesium each day. I also lift weights, which I've been doing for 10 years. I am hoping to have another scan soon to see if I have regained some bone density, or at least stopped losing bone mass.

I know how frustrating it can be to be so young and have to worry about something that most people don't have to worry about until much later in life. Sorry, I don't have any knowledge about if you can regain bone mass, but I just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel. Best wishes for a positive outcome on your next dexa scan and may you now have many years of good health!

Rachel (diagnosed by bloodwork and biopsy, gluten-free since 2003

daughter age 6 (diagnosed and gluten-free since age 3)

daughter age 4 (pos. bloodwork, neg. biospy - inconclusive but gluten-free since 20 mos.)

son age 2 (gluten-free since birth)

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Beaglemania, your aunt probably does have celiac. she should have her genes tested at Enterolab and also the gluten sensitivity test. So many people fall thru the cracks on diagnosis, with negative blood tests. My opinion is that a negative blood test cannot rule out celiac. You can only rule it in with a positive blood test, there is a big difference that is causing harm to a lot of people...

I know, I asked her if she can be soo sure she doesn't have it, and before my dad was diagnosed she Was sure she had it!! But now she thinks that since her condition has stabled and her bone density isn't worsening she's fine, she doesn't have it. So I don't know. confusing. :blink:

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I'm 32 and just got a bone density test and have osteopenia as well. This is so disconcerning! They rated me at -1.4, (-1.0--2.4 is considered osteopenia levels). I have to meet with a rhumatologist to go over the results in 3 weeks. Is there anything I should tell them, about having Celiac?

My general practitioner wants me to go on Fosomax- I'm breastfeeding currently (6 month old son) and don't want to take Fosomax as there isn't much known about that drug with breastfeeding (since I guess most people who take it are out of child bearing age!). I'm all for eating greens.

Do you think I should meet again with a dietician after all of my tests have been completed (PTH intact, phosphorous level, urinalisis for thyroid issues)? I've alread had blood tests for iron (a little low), calcium (ok), magnesium (ok), folate (ok) and vitamin D (ok). Does anyone know why I would have bone thinning and then have my blood levels ok on all of the above? Would 2 months of being gluten-free when I had the blood tests done make a difference?

Thanks to those of you who posted above with the words of encouragement about re-gaining bone mass!

I also was just recently diagnosed with severe osteopenia/borderline osteoporosis. (I am a 46 yo male.)

My internist also wanted me to start Fosomax, but I wasn't too excited by the idea. I decided to talk to a friend of mine out of town who is endocrinologist at Harvard. He said under no circumstances should I take Fosomax, it is the exact opposite of what I need. (He said that I should also know that he perscribe tons of Fosomax, so that he isn't anti-Fosomax, it just not what someone with Celiac should be taking.) Fosomax stops the breakdown of of the bone, which for someone with Celiac is just a way of getting calium, which is not the issue many women have after meopause. If you don't allow the body to get it from the bones, there is no other source, so you body will become hypocalcemic, and your nerves won't function. So you need to make sure that you get lots of calcium in your diet, as well as few other vitamins and minerals probably, like folic acid and vitamin D.

After being gluten-free for a while your intestines should improve and you will do better at absorbing the nutrients you are eating.

Good luck, and I hope you start to see improvement soon.

David

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I see that it has been a few weeks since the last posting to this thread, but this is the first time I've been in the forum for several months. I figured I'd toss in my 2 cents worth...

I was 38 when I was diagnosed with Celiac and osteopenia. I corrected my diet for celiac and began taking calcium/magnesium suppliments and Fosamax for the osteopenia. Also, I started a weight training program where I lifted weights 3 days a week. At the end of the first year I had another DEXAscan and it showed minor improvement.

The next year I did the same, but changed the type of Calcium I was taking from a calcium carbonate (cheap stuff) to calcium citrate (more expensive). My next DEXAscan showed no better improvement using the "higher quality" calcium.

While taking Fosamax for the fist two years I became increasingly unsure of its benefits, and I don't like taking something that changes/effects natural body processes. Also, I have read a lot of documentation that showed the best way to increase bone density was excersise - specifically weight bearing excersises like weight lifting, hiking(walking with a pack of extra weight) and running (your body weight hitting the ground with more force than walking alone). So, this past year I stopped taking Fosamax and added running 3 days a week while continuing my weight training. I take 1000mg of calcium and 600mg of magnesium a day. I take extra Vitamin D during the winter, but not summer as the body will produce its own with enough sunshine. My most recent DEXAscan showed the best improvement yet.

Based upon my own experience, I feel the weight bearing excersises are the most important things I have done to help my osteopenia condtion.

Good Luck

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My mom was diagnosed with osteopenia years ago and refused to take meds. She has improved her bone mass via diet, aerobic exercise and weight-bearing exercise. It can be done! Read this thread for some thoughts. I also copied a previous post of mine, below. http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/lofiversion...php/t20892.html

did your doc talk to you about options for treating your osteopenia? my mom had it. some docs may try and tell you to go on meds such as fosamax...but my rec is to not do so. since it is osteopenia and you are young, the drug will actually freeze your bone mass, so to speak, thereby freezing depletion, however it can also stop your chances of increasing your bone mass. instead of drugs initially, you can try other things to increase mass, limit alcohol and caffeine (which can deplete bones), start doing weight bearing exercises and begin taking a calcium supplement every day, if you aren't. docs wanted to put my mom on fosomax, she is in her 50s, and she refused. they told her she wouldn't reclaim any bone mass, esp. at her age...BUT she has been working out, lifting weights, taking a supplement, and has increased her bone mass, and is testing okay now. so, it can be done... there's my treatise on bones!! some info on osteopenia for you:

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