Osteoporosis and Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the line of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis can affect the rectum and colon. When just the colon is involved, it is known as ulcerative proctitis. The inflammation can cause pain and can make the intestines empty more frequently, resulting in diarrhea -- which is often bloody.

The Link Between Osteoporosis and Ulcerative Colitis

People with ulcerative colitis that does respond to first-line medications are often treated with glucocorticoids (such as prednisone or cortisone) to reduce the inflammation caused by their disease (see Ulcerative Colitis Medication). When used for long periods of time, these drugs interfere with the bone-remodeling process and calcium balance. Bone loss increases as glucocorticoid dosages increase and the duration of therapy gets longer.

Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis With Ulcerative Colitis

The strategies used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in people with ulcerative colitis are not significantly different from the strategies used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in people who do not have ulcerative colitis.

These strategies can include:
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important for healthy bones. Some 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 amounts of time outdoors. Such individuals may require vitamin D supplements in order to ensure an adequate daily intake.
Osteoporosis: Muscle Strengthening

Information on Ulcerative Colitis

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