Having Crohn’s Disease actually puts you at a greater risk for experiencing bone loss and developing osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become more weak, fragile, and are more likely to fracture. Now obviously this isn’t something that a crohn's sufferer should ignore.
[Studies have shown that 30 percent to 60 percent of people with Crohn’s have bone density that is less than average.]
If nothing is done then the continuous loss of bone density can lead to osteoporosis. Now I hear you ask "If Crohn’s disease is a digestive condition, then how can it also affect other areas of my body, including my bone health."
This occurs as a result of a variety of factors including vitamin D deficiency and an overabundance of proteins called cytokines, which are involved in the inflammatory process that takes place when you have Crohn’s Disease. A calcium deficiency can also contribute to the problem.
HOW DO THESE FACTORS HAPPEN?
Your bones are constantly renewing themselves. Your old bone is lost as new bone is formed. However if the ratio doesn’t remain equal, you end up with less and less bone. One reason for bone loss is not having enough of the building blocks for strong bones: Your body needs both calcium and the proper amount of vitamin D to absorb the calcium.
Here’s where the problem lies for people with Crohn’s. Vitamin D is absorbed in the small intestine. But changes in the small intestine due to having Crohn’s as well as from surgery to remove parts of the small intestine to treat your Crohn’s may cause your body to not be able to absorb enough of the vitamin. This can then lead to a vitamin D deficiency. We can also attribute bone loss to reduced calcium absorption, and poor bone mineralization.
Another reason is that Crohn's Disease sufferers have higher levels of specialized proteins called cytokines. Cytokines increase the body’s inflammatory response, which may lead to increased removal of bone and, in turn, a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Well there is good news. You can take steps to lower your chances of bone loss by following these 6 Simple Guidelines:
Remember if you have any more questions about your Bone Health then please free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Facebook Page at My Crohn's Doctor.
Yours in Health and Wellness
My Crohn's Doctor