New research shows further evidence that untreated celiac disease wreaks havoc on the body and you may not even realize it; especially in children.

The study published in the November issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition looked at low bone mass in children and whether the kids were showing symptoms of celiac disease at the time they were diagnosed.

A little background on celiac and bone health:  If you have celiac disease and it’s not being treated with a gluten-free diet, you’re not absorbing vital nutrients that your body needs from your food; like calcium or vitamin D. Without those nutrients your bones get weak. No matter when it happens in life, it can be dangerous. But particularly in children, it can set the stage for bone issues later in life.

Ultimately, researchers in this study found that there was “an equivalent reduction in spine bone mass in children…regardless of the presence of symptoms. Delayed diagnosis of children with celiac disease may increase the risk of adult osteoporosis.”

It concluded by saying children at risk for celiac disease should be screened appropriately and their bone mineral density should be routinely evaluated to “prevent long-term complications associated with poor health.”

This is the latest of a handful of studies on bone health related to celiac disease – just this month! Earlier this month there were two additional studies, one on osteoporosis and another on celiac children and bone health.

Currently the Mayo Clinic lists on its website that having celiac disease is a risk factor to getting osteoporosis later in life. So with all of the information of the three studies plus Mayo Clinic’s feedback, this hopefully will help we celiacs, parents of celiac and doctors who treat us be vigilant in keeping an eye open for both celiac disease in our family members and any related bone trouble.

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