A new study shows people suffering from the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis may also be at higher risk of having celiac disease , a condition in which people have a difficult time digesting wheat gluten.
Treatment for celiac disease can markedly improve bone mineral density, or BMD, among patients with both conditions. People with celiac disease also tend to have thinning bones, but little study exists to suggest if everyone with osteoporosis should be screened for the condition. For the study 270 people were evaluated with osteoporosis and around 575 people without osteoporosis for celiac disease, comparing incidence among the two groups.
Results showed people with osteoporosis were significantly more likely to also have celiac disease and after a year on a gluten-free diet, BMD improved in the osteoporosis patients, outpacing that which would normally be expected with standard osteoporosis drugs.
Researchers say their study raises the question of who should be screened for celiac disease and when, hence they suggest that further study be done inorder to more clearly define the population at risk.