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Increased Risk of Hip and Bone Fractures with Resistant Celiac Disease

If you suffer from celiac disease, it's likely you're at a higher risk of fracturing a hip. Hip fractures and other bone fractures are linked to chronic intestinal damage.  

A newly published study conducted in Sweden between 1969 and 2008  with a sample size of over 7 thousand subjects, shows that once a patient is diagnosed with celiac disease with concurrent intestinal damage, and begins a gluten-free diet, their condition improves. However, researchers found that 43% of these subjects had persistent villous atrophy meaning that the intestinal tissue did not heal even on a gluten-free diet.

Some doctors have debated whether or not people with celiac disease would benefit from follow-up biopsies to determine intestinal healing.  One of the study’s authors, Dr. Lebwohl from the Celiac Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said that the findings from this study suggest that follow-up biopsies for those with celiac disease would indeed be helpful for predicting complications in the future.

The take home message seems to be that eating a strict gluten-free diet is necessary, but don’t be complacent about getting a follow-up biopsy to determine if the diet is effectively healing the intestinal villi and mucosal lining.

Pamela Hasterok

Sources: Medscape Medical News
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Jan 16, 2014