Celiac Disease Can Lead to Osteoporosis

January 14, 2012

We have learned that Celiac Disease can lead to Osteoporosis. My son’s pediatrician, who also has celiac disease, had asked us to have our son Cesar Michael do a “Bone Density Scan Test.”  To our surprise, he had bone loss because of his Celiac Disease.

What is Osteoporosis?

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it means “porous bone” in which the density of the bones is reduced. Therefore, the bones become fragile and weak.  The loss of bone density happens “silently” and continuously.

With that said, the bones become susceptible to fractures specially the hip, the wrist and spine.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, there is an estimated 44 million Americans with Osteoporosis disease, 68% of them are women. They also point out that it has been called “a childhood disease with old age consequences.”

The World Health Organization has defined Threshold values of Osteoporosis.

  • Normal (BMD) Bone Mineral Density. Between +1 and -1 of the young adult reference.
  • Osteopenia. BMD between -1 and -2.5. In here, there is a decrease but not severe.
  • Osteoporosis. BMD lower than -2.5

Even though someone is diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, it does not necessarily mean that a person will break a bone. At that point the doctor will advise the patient some type of therapy to slow down the bone loss.

How to Slow Down the Process of Bone Loss?

After my son was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, his pediatrician recommended for him to start an exercise program. His uncle Andrew is helping him follow an exercise program that includes a weight-bearing exercise which is known to be good for bone health. Strength Training is also recommended because if helps to have good muscles. Among the proper exercises to halt down the process of bone loss include jogging, walking, aerobics.  It is very important to talk to your doctor and ask which exercises would be best for you.

My son’s pediatrician also recommended a daily dosage of Vitamin D which is essential to maintain good bones. Calcium is also an essential vitamin recommended. Other sources of Vitamin D include fish, egg yolks. Also the natural way of getting vitamins D is by exposing yourself to the sunlight for 15 minutes.

Why Celiac Disease Can Lead to Osteoporosis?

 It normally happens because the lack of Celiac Disease diagnosis. If Celiac Disease is treated early enough, the bones most likely will get its proper nutrients because the person will follow a strict gluten-free diet plus take the proper vitamins.

If Celiac disease is untreated, the small intestine will not absorb the proper nutrients for the digestive system.

How to Monitor the Bone Density?

Your doctor will prescribe a (BMD) Bone Mineral Density test. Normally it is done of a flatbed Scanner. It is painless. It typically scans your Dual hip, Forearm, Proximal Femur, Lumbar Spine, etc.

My son Cesar Michael was prescribed to go back after 8 months of being diagnosed with osteoporosis. To our surprise, he has maintained a good bone density. In fact, in some areas it has been assessed that he is gaining some bone density back.

If you have recently being diagnosed with Celiac disease, I would recommend asking your doctor to prescribe a Bone Density Scan test. 

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4 thoughts on “Celiac Disease Can Lead to Osteoporosis

  1. Pingback: Undetected Celiac Disease was Silently Killing our Child

  2. Pingback: My Son’s Low Bone Density Improvement Update | Celiac disease

  3. Pingback: What We Have Learned About Children with Celiac Disease

  4. As you age, your body may reabsorb calcium and phosphate from your bones instead of keeping these minerals in your bones. This makes your bones weaker. When this process reaches a certain stage, it is called osteoporosis.^’,-

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