Bones in coeliac disease: diagnosis and treatment

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Jun;19(3):453-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2005.01.002.


Coeliac disease predisposes to metabolic osteopathy. The entity of bone loss is higher in patients with malabsorption at diagnosis but it is also present in asymptomatic or poorly symptomatic patients, occurring in roughly half of them. Calcium malabsorption and the release of proinflammatory cytokines, activating osteoclasts, represent the main mechanisms responsible for bone derangement. In coeliacs, the presence of an increased fracture risk was recently questioned and its importance on clinical grounds was reconsidered, in view of the fact that gluten-free diet generally improves bone mass and, consequently, reduces fracture risk. However, gluten-free diet rarely normalizes bone mass and the co-administration of mineral active drugs may be useful in a subgroup of coeliacs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / physiopathology
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Celiac Disease / physiopathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans