The risk of osteoporosis is increased in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: particularly in those with additional strong risk factors such as glucocorticoid therapy, hypogonadism, past history of fragility fracture or malnutrition. Where possible, bone densitometry should be performed to identify those in need of treatment, to avoid unnecessary treatment if bone density is normal and to monitor the effects of treatment designed to prevent bone loss. If bone densitometry is not available, treatment should be advised on the basis of strong risk factors. Hormone replacement therapy should be given to patients with hypogonadism and bisphosphonate therapy to those receiving long-term glucocorticoid treatment. The dose of glucocorticoids should be kept to a minimum and, where present, vitamin D deficiency should be corrected.