Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Apr;94(4):878-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.1999.981_d.x.


Osteopenia or osteoporosis is common in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The use of corticosteroids contributes to the decline in bone loss; however, osteoporosis may develop in patients with inflammatory bowel disease independent of corticosteroid use. Risk factors for the development of low bone mass in patients with inflammatory bowel disease include the general risk factors for osteoporosis as well as additional factors such as the presence of chronic inflammation, use of corticosteroids and other pharmaceuticals, and nutritional deficiencies as the result of small bowel disease or small bowel resections. Despite the high prevalence, few patients are entered into prophylactic regimens to prevent corticosteroid-induced bone loss. The American College of Rheumatology has recently published recommendations for the prevention and treatment of corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. In this article, we highlight the special risks for osteoporosis in patients with IBD and adapt the recommendations for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis to this clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Bone Density
  • Calcitonin / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Carbonate / therapeutic use
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Prednisone / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcitonin
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Prednisone