Osteopenia Osteoporosis IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Osteoporosis IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, you  need to speak with your health care provider about getting screened for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. The most common screening took is a dexa scan. This is a non-invasive screening test that shows bone density of your spine and hips. For more information about this test go to: Dexa scan.

Like many digestive disorders IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) has a high correlation with low bone density. That is why you need to be tested now.....and again in a few years.

Health care providers: Osteopenia, Osteoporosis IBD

There have been a number of articles in academic journals showing the many health care providers to patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease do not think of the Osteopenia, Osteoporosis IBD connection and so never recommend evaluating the bone density of their patients. This is why patients may need to raise the issue.

Of course some patients might find that difficult. They are not used to making suggestions to their health care providers.  One solution for the 'shy' patient would be to print out the abstracts which follow and give them to their health care provider with a request for a dexa scan.

All the abstracts are from academic medical journals and so should carry weight with any health care provider.

Research abstracts:

1. Here is an article from World J Gastroenterologist. 2010 "Clinical relevance of changes in bone metabolism in inflammatory bowel disease" by Miheller P, Lorinczy K, Lakatos PL. concurrs.

Abstract:  Osteoporosis IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Low bone mineral density is an established, frequent, but often neglected complication in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Data regarding the diagnosis, therapy and follow-up of low bone mass in IBD has been partially extrapolated from postmenopausal osteoporosis; however, the pathophysiology of bone loss is altered in young patients with IBD. Fracture, a disabling complication, is the most important clinical outcome of low bone mass....

2. American Journal Med. in 2009 stated that in regard to Osteoporosis IBD the "purpose of this article is to increase physician awareness about Osteopenia and Osteoporosis occurring in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and to provide basic, clinically relevant information about the pathophysiology and guidelines to help them treat these patients in a cost-effective manner."

3. Osteoporosis IBD  An even earlier study (2004) by Ernstein CN, Leslie WD. in Alimentery Pharmcol Therapy notes: Osteoporosis IBD abstract:

"Studies using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry have suggested a high prevalence of osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease. However, population-based data on fracture incidence suggest only a small increased risk of fracture amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease compared with the general population. Therefore, it would be helpful to identify patients with inflammatory bowel disease at particularly high risk for fracture so that these risks might be modified or interventions might be undertaken.

Possible direction for treatment of IBD patients

The last article, cited above offers some suggestions for treatment. As always they not that there is no definitive therapy at this time but they say:

"Studies using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry have suggested a high prevalence of osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease. However, population-based data on fracture incidence suggest only a small increased risk of fracture amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease compared with the general population.

Therefore, it would be helpful to identify patients with inflammatory bowel disease at particularly high risk for fracture so that these risks might be modified or interventions might be undertaken. The data on calcium intake as a predictor of bone mineral density are conflicting...

"The therapy of osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease has been adapted from other osteoporosis settings, such as post-menopausal or corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. To date, there remains no therapy proven to be efficacious in inflammatory bowel disease-related osteoporosis; however, calcium and vitamin D supplementation and bisphosphonates have their roles."

Patient may well want to explore the many  natural treatments for increasing bone density.  Examples: Daily intake of calcium has been suggested. But not all forms of calcium are equal.  Readers might want to check the Evaluation of calcium supplements page.

In addition the Natural treatments for Osteopenia, Osteoporosis page should be of interest. It details effective treatments used throughout the world and the scientific reports about them.  Some of these are surprising such as the use of a special kind of honey and the effectiveness of Tai Chi .

Do consider bookmarking this site. It contains more information about potential treatments than any of the sites trying to sell you their products.  Also, I offer a free monthly newsletter that is a mixture of encouragement and the latest scientific advances. See: below.

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