What are the treatment options for low bone density in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

A health maintenance issue of particular importance to patients with IBD is a reduction in bone density because of decreased calcium absorption (due to the underlying disease process) or corticosteroid use. Osteoporosis is a very serious complication, involving 40% of patients with IBD, and increases the risk for fractures. All patients who have been using steroids for longer than 3 months, as well as postmenopausal women, should undergo testing with bone-density studies; treatment with bisphosphonates and calcium supplements can be initiated in patients with significantly low bone density.


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