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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How does Inflammatory Bowel Disease affect bones and bone health?

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    Prof Andrew Day

    Paediatric Gastroenterologist

    Paediatric Gastroenterologist View Profile

    Yes. There are many interactions between the bones and the gut in IBD, especially Crohn disease. Firstly ongoing inflammation can influence the balance between new bone formation and bone breakdown in IBD. Diet restrictions, or poor absorption can limit key nutrients (e.g. calcium) that are important in bone health. Another important micronutrient in Vitamin D: levels of this are commonly low in IBD. Reduced exercise ability, for various reasons can chnage bone strength also. Furthermore, some of the drugs used for IBD (e.g. prednisone) can adversely affect the bones also. For all these reasons, a number of people with IBD have thinning of the bones (osteoporosis/osteopaemia) or are at increased risk of fractures. Bone health is an important aspect of managing and monitoring IBD

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