Rates of celiac disease are significantly higher in patients with osteoporosis, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. They recommend using blood tests to screen osteoporosis patients for celiac disease because their study has shown that treating celiac disease with diet can restore bone health in these patients.
Celiac disease is an intestinal disorder caused by intolerance to gluten, a component of wheat and many other grains.
“Our results suggest that as many as three to four percent of patients who have osteoporosis have the bone disease as a consequence of having celiac disease, which makes them unable to absorb normal amounts of calcium and vitamin D,” says principal investigator William F. Stenson, MD.
By putting patients who had celiac disease and osteoporosis on a gluten-free diet for one year, the investigators were able to improve gastrointestinal symptoms and improve their bone density as well.
Source: Washington University School of Medicine, Feb 28, 2005