Crohn's and Osteoporosis
Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. The best exercise for your bones is weight-bearing exercise that forces you to work against gravity. Some examples include:
- Climbing stairs
- Lifting weights
Regular exercise (such as walking) can help prevent bone loss and, by enhancing balance and flexibility, can also reduce the likelihood of falling and breaking a bone. Exercise is also important for preserving joint mobility.
Smoking is bad for bones as well as the heart and lungs. Women who smoke tend to go through menopause earlier, triggering earlier bone loss. In addition, people who smoke may absorb less calcium from their diets. Alcohol can also negatively affect bone health. Those who drink heavily are more prone to bone loss and fracture, because of both poor nutrition and an increased risk of falling.
Bone Density Test
Specialized tests known as bone mineral density (BMD) tests measure bone density in various sites of the body. These tests can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and may be used to predict one's chances of experiencing a fracture in the future. A person with Crohn's disease, particularly someone who has been receiving glucocorticoid therapy for two months or more, should talk to his or her doctor about whether a bone density test is appropriate.
Like Crohn's disease, osteoporosis has no cure. However, there are medications available to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Several osteoporosis medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, such as:
- Alendronate (Fosamax®)
- Risedronate (Actonel®)
- Ibandronate (Boniva®)
- Raloxifene (Evista®)
- Calcitonin (Miacalcin®, Fortical®)
- Teriparatide (Forteo®)
- Estrogen/hormone therapy.
Alendronate is also approved for use in men.
Also, Alendronate is approved for treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in women and men with Crohn's disease; risedronate is approved for prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in men and women.