Crohn's and Osteoporosis

The Link Between Crohn's Disease and Osteoporosis

Studies have found an increased risk of bone loss and fracture in individuals with Crohn's disease. In fact, 30-60 percent of people with Crohn's disease may have low bone density, which puts them at significant risk for osteoporosis. People with Crohn's disease are at an increased risk of osteoporosis for many reasons. To begin with, the glucocorticoid medications often used to treat Crohn's disease (see Crohn's Disease Medications) can trigger significant bone loss. In addition, individuals with Crohn's disease who have extensive inflammation in the small intestine (and/or have parts of the small intestine surgically removed) may have difficulty absorbing calcium and vitamin D. This is a further concern for bone health.
 

Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis Associated With Crohn's Disease

Strategies for preventing and treating osteoporosis in people with Crohn's disease are not significantly different from the strategies for those who do not have the disease.
 
These strategies involve:
 
Nutrition
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important for healthy bones. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products; dark green, leafy vegetables; and calcium-fortified foods and beverages. Also, supplements can help ensure that the calcium requirement is met each day. In most cases, 1000 mg of calcium per day is recommended.
 
Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone health. It is synthesized in the skin through exposure to sunlight. While many people are able to obtain enough vitamin D naturally, older individuals are often deficient in this vitamin. This is partly because they spend limited time outdoors. Such individuals may require vitamin D supplements in order to ensure an adequate daily intake.
Calcium and Strong Bones

Crohn's Disease Information

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