Celiac Disease And Your Spinal Osteoporosis Risk

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 19, 2022

Spinal Bone Spurs Treatment

More than three million people in the United States are affected by a digestive condition known as celiac disease. This digestive problem leads to damage and inflammation of the lining of the small intestine whenever foods containing a protein called gluten are consumed. Gluten is found in wheat products and is especially plentiful in foods like cereal, pasta, bread and other carbohydrate-dense options. Celiac disease can make life a little more uncomfortable, but it can also lead to spinal issues if you’re not careful. Below, we explore the connection between celiac disease and spinal osteoporosis risk.

Celiac Disease And Your Spine

Repeated exposure to gluten in patients with celiac disease can damage the sensitive lining of the small intestine. This is also the area of the body where nutrients are broken down and absorbed into the body. If the small intestine is damaged and cannot absorb key nutrients from your food, your body will not get the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to perform vital bodily functions.

One of the key nutrients that can be affected by this malabsorption caused by celiac disease is calcium. Calcium is essential for helping your body replace old bone with new, healthy bone. If there’s not enough calcium in your body, your bones can become more brittle. Eventually, this can lead to osteoporosis, which is a condition categorized by low bone density.

Osteoporosis can affect any bones in your body, but you’ll likely notice its effects in areas that regularly handle a fair amount of stress. Few systems handle more stress and strain on a regular basis than your spinal column. Left untreated, these bones can become more brittle as time goes on until a moment when a vertebra is overloaded with stress and fractures. When osteoporosis is severe, it doesn’t take much for this fracture to occur. Mild trauma, a slip and fall or even a forceful sneeze can all result in fractures if your spinal osteoporosis has gone untreated for long enough.

Fortunately, osteoporosis can be treated with some simple daily adjustments, but the first course of action is to get a diagnosis from a specialist. They’ll be able to take a closer look at your bone density and determine if a gastrointestinal issue or different problem is causing your bone loss. From there, they’ll walk you through a few different treatment options. And while treatment will be specific to the individual, some of the most common treatments for spinal osteoarthritis include:

  • Dietary Improvements – Making conscious food choices to increase your calcium intake and avoid gluten can help your body absorb the nutrients it craves.
  • Vitamin Supplementation – If you’re struggling to get enough nutrients from diet alone, your specialist may recommend an over-the-counter supplement.
  • Exercise – Exercise can help to keep our bodies strong and prevent weight gain, which can put added stress on your spine.
  • Posture Improvements – Osteoporosis-related discomfort can increase if you regularly have poor posture, so patients pursuing other treatments on this list may benefit from postural corrections to relieve symptoms while other methods help to increase your calcium intake.

Dr. Sinicropi has helped countless patients manage and treat their spinal osteoporosis, regardless of whether or not an underlying link to a digestive disorder exists. Let him help you find a solution to your back discomfort. For more information, or for help with your back pain, reach out to him today at (651) 430-3800.

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