Common Inflammatory Bowel Disorders Raise Osteoporosis Risk, New Study Shows

Posted on Jan 21 2013 at 12:25:19 PM in Health

Common Inflammatory Bowel Disorders Raise Osteoporosis Risk, New Study Shows

Research teams from the university hospitals of Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, have discovered that young people with inflammatory bowel diseases had lower bone mass and poorer bone density compared to healthy people of similar age, as was uncovered in their study. The study teams have deduced that their findings revealed that people with inflammatory bowel disease were at a higher risk for osteoporotic fractures.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term that refers to any disease characterized by an inflammation of the small and/or large intestines. Two of the most common types of inflammatory bowel disorders are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The research study has found that patients with these types of disorders had significantly lowered bone mass and poor structural bone integrity which made them predisposed to an increased risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.

The suspected factors relating to the development of osteoporosis from these types of conditions are varied and inter-related, but the main factor believed to be the cause of this unfortunate side-effect of inflammatory bowel disorders is inadequate nutrient absorption from the damaged intestines. Notably, nutrients in the form of calcium, vitamin D, proteins, magnesium, and phosphates which are essential to building and maintaining bone mass were not absorbed effectively from the patient’s impaired intestines.

The normal treatment prescribed for these diseases also presents another problem for the patient’s bone health. Inflammatory bowel diseases such as these are treated with corticosteroids. These medications have been found to also interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Other studies have also found that prolonged therapy from corticosteroids has been known to also cause further bone loss and leave patients taking them very prone to osteoporotic fractures. The compounding effect of complications resulting both from the diseases and treatments that patients receive may have a devastating effect on their bone health.

These findings were presented to the World Congress on Osteoporosis in Florence, Italy in 2010.

The researchers found that patients were more prone to fractures due not only to having significantly lowered bone mineral density, but also to microarchitechtural changes in trabecular bone tissue. Due to their findings, the study authors recommend that doctors and physicians treating young patients with inflammatory bowel diseases should consider preventive measures against osteoporosis and fracture risk in their overall treatment strategies; particular importance should be placed in making certain that patients receive the adequate amount of nutrients for maintaining optimal bone mineral density.

Osteoporosis is a chronic disease that affects millions around the world and has been difficult to treat effectively. The lack of effective treatment has led to multi-district lawsuits that have been based on plaintiffs complaining of side-effects from current osteoporosis medications. Read more about osteoporosis, its side-effects and the class action lawsuits related to it, here


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Created: Jan 21 2013 at 12:25:19 PM
Updated: Jan 21 2013 at 12:33:39 PM
Category: Health
Language: English