Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bone Health and Pediatric Celiac Disease

This Seattle video about pediatric celiac disease covers a lot of potential symptoms including anemia, rashes, diarrhea, joint inflammation, malnourishment, moodiness, anxiety, depression, growth delays, and some forms of cancer.

It also includes something I'm not used to seeing or hearing about: A 13-year-old getting a bone density test. What I usually hear is that bone density tests are not recommended in many pediatric cases, largely due to a lack of corroborative data.

Anyway, it seems that many doctors postpone bone density tests until patients are old, even (in the case of women) post-menopausal. It still seems to make sense to me to do testing sooner because it's often easier to stop or reverse the bone-thinning process at an earlier age. I'd like to hear more about baseline tests for people in their 20s and 30s (if not sooner, depending on how reliable and informative the tests might be) with perhaps 10-year follow-ups in an attempt to nip any problems in the bud, when diet and exercise might still help the patient improve and avoid treatment with drugs. The tests might also help doctors find many undiagnosed cases of celiac disease.

Source (3:22)

1 comment:

Nancy Lapid said...

Hi David,

Coincidentally, there's a paper in the February issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition that reports lower bone mineral content in newly diagnosed celiac children compared to kids of the same age without celiac disease. I've got more about it on my site.

Also, I think that in kids it's better to measure bone mineral content than bone density -- I think measurements of bone mineral content can account for the fact that kids' skeletons are growing (but I'm not really sure about this).