Crohn’s disease is classified as a chronic inflammatory bowel disease and symptoms can vary from person to person but often include diarrhea and pain in the abdomen. Osteoporosis is a diseases where bone density has decreased and over time worsens leading to fractures. Although the conditions seem to be very different there is a possible connection between the two. Those who have Crohn’s disease are at a great chance of having fractures by nearly 40 percent.
There are many possible reasons why those who have Crohn’s develop osteoporosis and they could range anywhere between the disease itself to side effects or even the treatments for Crohn’s disease.
Effects of Inflammation
With Crohn’s disease, there is inflammation of the intestines but that inflammation can also occur in other parts of the body. The bones are constantly breaking down and building up even in those who have healthy immune systems but there is also evidence that these proteins called cytokines are linked to a weakened bone mass and these proteins are found in those with Crohn’s disease.
A treatment method for Crohn’s disease has a tie to bone loss when used over a long period of time. These corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation that can help with severe intestinal inflammation. This type of steroid affects the body’s metabolism as well as calcium levels and vitamin C. These steroids when used for long periods of time, are linked to increased fractures with the fractures primarily being in the ribs and spine.
With medical advances there is always new ways of healing and treating certain conditions and this one is no different. Bone loss may be a side effect of the injections but taking a supplement may decrease your risk of that occurring. Talk with your doctor about your options and discuss your concerns about bone loss and the possibility of the doctor prescribing a medication that is a bisphosphate which can reduce the risk of bone loss. There is also the possibility of taking a break from steroids and still have a successful treatment plan.