Celiac disease can potentially impair bone density in younger women, leading to more fractures, according to a small study in Argentina.
Using high-resolution tomography, doctors compared 31 premenopausal women with celiac disease to 22 healthy women of similar age. The celiac patients had 26 percent lower bone density and the more severe the symptoms, the more compromised the bone structure. This was more significant at the lower lumbar spine, thigh bone and the wrist.
Researchers, however, hold out hope that removing gluten from the diets of celiac patients could improve their bone strength and diminish the occurrence of osteoporosis.
Meanwhile, they recommend women with celiac disease avoid cigarettes, exercising regularly, consume adequate amounts of calcium (through diet or supplementation), and include vitamin D supplements.
"We do not know yet if this damage can be completely reversed with gluten-free diet,” said researcher Dr. María Belén Zanchetta from Instituto de Diagnóstico e Investigaciones Metabólicas in Buenos Aires.
Until research can show that a gluten-free diet will reverse bone fracture risk, be sure to include bone strengthening help with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D!
Sources: Reuters Health