Osteoporosis is often described as a thinning of the bones that leaves them more prone to fracture, especially in the hips, wrists and spine.
People with coeliac disease are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis because the condition makes it harder for the body to absorb calcium. In fact, research has shown that as many as 50% of adults with coeliac disease may develop osteoporosis, and more than 75% of adults with untreated coeliac disease may have reduced bone mineral density (reference).
Eat a calcium-rich varied diet – bones need a wide variety of nutrients to stay strong.
Get some sun – sunlight helps the body make Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
Exercise – weight-bearing activities like walking, running and tennis can all help to maintain your bone density. If you already have osteoporosis, choose gentler activities such as swimming, gardening and Tai Chi.
Various factors, including your build, age and activity level, affect your recommended calcium intake. Generally, people with coeliac disease should aim to consume 1000-1500mg of calcium every day; with post-menopausal women and men over the age of 55 needing at least 1200mg a day. Your Dietitian will be able to advise you regarding your individual calcium requirements and whether or not you need a calcium supplement.
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