Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology & GI Surgery Page! With one of the largest group of digestive disease specialists in the world, Mayo Clinic has been recognized as the nation's best Gastroenterology & GI Surgery hospital by U.S. News & World Report.
Follow the page to read shared experiences, learn about clinical trials and up-to-date research, and find resources for all your gastroenterology needs. Our goal is to connect you to others, and become informed decision makers; so post a comment, share your story, own your health.

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, Jan 24, 2017 11:07am

Bone Density and Celiac Disease

By Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator, @kanaazpereira

Raul Ruiz Esponda, M. D., discusses the connection between bone density and celiac disease.

Celiac disease and bone health is a very important topic. Bone loss is important because it may lead to osteoporosis and fractures. Fractures can lead to morbidity and in some cases, mortality. It is important to detect boss loss and make sure celiac disease patients are taking care of their bone health. There are several reason why someone with celiac disease may have bone loss. Malabsorption and inflammation are two of the main reasons for bone loss for celiac disease patients. Malabsorption of calcium leads to secondary hypoparathyriodism. When calcium levels are detected as low in the blood, parathyroid hormone (PTH) is secreted. In situations like celiac disease where malabsorption is occurring, the parathyroid hormone plays an important role in bone reabsorption in order to receive calcium within normal limits leading to decreased bone density or bone wasting. Some studies have shown that in patients with celiac disease the higher the level PTH, the lower the level of bone density at the hip and the spine. This correlation explains and ties together how patients lose bone density when they have celiac disease. Another important factor is inflammation. This interferes with bone reabsorption. Other less known factors include lower levels of physical activity, lower body mass indexes, early menopause, and decreased levels of growth hormone. All of these are factors for bone loss. Bone density is used as a surrogate marker for fractures. Studies that have compared celiac disease patients with healthy controls have shown celiac disease patients at diagnosis have lower bone densities at the hip and spine. Similar studies have also shown bone density correlates with damage at the gastrointestinal level. This means the more malabsorption, the lower the bone density. Pulling the reports together, 50-70% of patients with celiac disease will have some type of low bone density. Studies examining fractures have shown celiac disease patients are at a 30% higher risk of having a fracture. So what can we do about this? A gluten-free diet has shown to increase bone density by 8% in the first year. After being on a gluten-free diet for one year, physicians may consider putting patients on medication for osteoporosis. The number of vitamin D and calcium supplements a celiac disease patient needs a day varies from patient to patient.

For more information about celiac disease, visit mayoclinic.org/celiacdisease.

Please login or register to post a reply.

Invite Others

Send an email to invite people you know to join the Gastroenterology & GI Surgery page.

We'll include this text in the user's invitation.