Osteomalacia can be reversed with a gluten free diet in some cases.
Osteomalacia is caused by a vitamin D deficiency, but what is causing the lack of vitamin D? Depending on the cause of the vitamin D shortage, cutting gluten from your diet may solve the problem.
We’ll take a look at what osteomalacia is, then how a gluten free diet may help.
Osteomalacia – What Is It?
Osteomalacia is the medical term for soft bones, also known as rickets in children.
This condition makes the bones weak, increasing the chance of broken bones. This is similar to osteoporosis, but the underlying problem is a bit different.
While your body may have enough calcium and may actually be forming bone material, a lack of vitamin D prevents the body from completing the process. The bones remain soft and lack density.
Symptoms of Osteomalacia
- Weak bones
- Bone pain, especially in spine, pelvic area and legs
- Muscle weakness
- Hypocalcemia (low serum calcium levels in the blood)
- Bowing legs/Bending of bones
- Compressed veretebrae
- Pelvic flattening
- Easy fracturing
- Bone softening
Osteomalacia and the Gluten Free Diet
Osteomalacia is caused by a vitamin D deficiency. There are several causes for this. One that is often over-looked but more common than most people realize (including many doctors) is celiac disease.
Celiac disease affects at least 1% of the population. It causes numerous problems with the body. One of the classic symptoms of celiac disease is malabsorption. This means that your body is unable to properly digest food and absorb enough nutrients from it.
So while taking more vitamin D might be the obvious answer to curing osteomalacia, this approach will be of little help if your body is unable to absorb the additional vitamin D.
If you have osteomalacia, and it turns out that you have celiac disease, then going on a gluten free diet will reverse the problem in most cases.
When celiacs cut gluten from their diet, the gut begins to heal. As it heals, it is able to function properly again, meaning you can digest your food properly and properly absorb your food, including vitamin D.
Going on a gluten free diet has many other advantages as well for celiacs, as the symptoms of celiac disease are serious and effect many parts of the body.
For celiacs, a gluten free diet leads to proper absorption of vitamin D, which reverses the osteomalacia.