Patients with osteoporosis should be screened for celiac disease
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 wheat flour (gluten). The investigators evaluated 840 people, 266 patients with osteoporosis and 547 without the bone disease. Through blood tests and endoscopic intestinal biopsies, they found nine osteoporosis patients also had celiac disease compared to only one of the 574 patients who didnt have osteoporosis.
"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, M.D., a Washington University physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The study is reported in the Feb. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In celiac disease, an immune reaction to the gluten portion of wheat interferes with the intestines absorption of various dietary products. The disease can contribute to malnutrition and gastrointestinal problems. Removing gluten from the diet by excluding certain grain products corrects the condition. Although celiac disease often involves obvious symptoms such as weight loss and diarrhea, some patients do not know they have the disease because they experience only subtle problems such as iron deficiency anemia.
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 bone density as well. "Bone density -- which is the way bone health is measured -- improved dramatically on a gluten-free diet," Stenson says. "We believe the diet allowed intestines to heal and that permitted normal absorption normal of calcium and vitamin D to reverse bone loss."
The improvement in bone density was greater than would have been expected for patients with osteoporosis on standard therapy.
Stenson, a professor of medicine at Washington University, says its not clear how common celiac disease is in the general population, but most health professionals believe the rate is higher than was previously thought. Celiac disease is detected much more in children than it once was, but Stenson says adults can develop the disease, too. "There is a genetic predisposition for celiac disease," he says. "But many people dont develop symptoms until later in life when they are exposed to something that triggers those genes to launch the disease."
In this study, only 0.2 percent of people with healthy bones also had positive blood tests for celiac disease. The rate in people with osteoporosis was 4.5 percent. So Stenson and colleagues are recommending that when a patient is treated for osteoporosis, it might be worthwhile for their doctor to also order a blood test for celiac disease.
"One of our conclusions is that the incidence of celiac disease in patients with osteoporosis is high enough to justify screening for everybody with osteoporosis," Stenson says. "The idea is that if a patient has osteoporosis as a consequence of celiac disease, the most direct way to correct their bone loss would be to put them on a gluten-free diet."
Jim Dryden | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...