Bisphosphonate unmasks coeliac disease

Australian researchers have reported a series of cases where use of a bisphosphonate caused gastrointestinal symptoms that revealed previously undiagnosed coeliac disease.

In one case, a 48-year-old woman presented with a history of minimal trauma rib fracture. Tests revealed low BMD and she was prescribed alendronate 10mg daily. Three to four months later, she developed diarrhoea and abdominal pain, with endoscopy revealing villous atrophy.

The woman tested positive for coeliac disease and her condition improved after alendronate was stopped and she started a gluten-free

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