Whether you have celiac disease or not, bone health should be on your radar. Up through young adult life, the body’s skeleton develops based on your calcium savings rate over the years. But then it plateaus and you are responsible for maintaining what you’ve built by continuing to save without making any withdrawals. If you have celiac disease and your bone health is not where it should be, you can take action to help manage the condition and start building bone mass. In some cases, doctors will prescribe drugs to help improve bone density. But the good news is that much of your bone health can be within your control!
You can boost your calcium level with a gluten-free diet. If you have celiac disease, going on a balanced gluten-free diet will heal the villi in your small intestine and should correct any malabsorption issues you had, thus making proper absorption of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium possible.
Then, of course, you have to make the calcium deposits. Even when you’re on a gluten-free diet, if you don’t give the body the calcium it needs daily, there will be no savings made. Focus on sources rich in calcium, including foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, salmon with edible bones, and even dairy products if they’re right for you. When you’re reading labels for gluten, read for calcium too!
It can be challenging to consume your daily calcium and vitamin D requirements through foods alone, so gluten-free nutritional calcium supplements can help close the gap and get you where you need to be daily. And the sun is a wonderful source of vitamin D. If you live in a region and climate that allows you to receive several minutes of sunscreen-protected sunshine a day, take advantage and enjoy.
Last but not least, exercise! Exercising builds bones. If you regularly exercise, congratulations and keep up the good work. If you don’t, incorporate some form of weight bearing exercise into your routine. Consult with your doctor on an exercise regimen that’s best for you before you start.