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Possible osteoporosis

Have any of you who are middle aged and suffered from Crohn's for years been diagnosed with osteoporosis or other bone issues?

About two weeks ago, I woke up one morning with intense pain in my right foot. I went to my family doctor, who at first suspected gout, but took an x-ray and saw I had a stress fracture of a metatarsal bone. She sent me to a podiatrist, who was able to see me the next day. He confirmed the stress fracture and put me in a boot for five weeks. I have no idea how this fracture happened. I didn't drop anything on my foot, didn't hit it on anything, didn't fall, nor did I jump off anything and cause any kind of shock or trauma to it.

When I went back to my family doctor a couple of days later for my bi-weekly B12 shot, she said that after this heals she wants to do a bone density test and that after some research she found that a significant number of people with Crohn's in the small intestine suffer bone loss, especially those who went decades without a proper diagnosis or treatment.

I'm usually active, especially being in remission, so being laid up with a fracture is making me go stir crazy. I'm really hoping that I'm not hitting a point in my life where bones start breaking for no reason - that's going to have a really negative impact on my morale considering I'm one who likes to do things like work on my own vehicles and house.

Lady Organic

Staff member
wow, Im so sorry for what you are going through. I can only imagine... Did you take a lot a prednisone since your CD diagnosis? I know prednisone in high dosage, as used in IBD, is terrible for joints and predisposes for osteoporosis and bones issues.
GI talks openly to me about this issue when I need prednisone, as I already took a lot in 20 years of IBD.
This is something that scares me too for my future, as I have also had a lot of joint problems already in the last years.
A body shape with small and petite bone structure is also more at risk for osteoporosis.
I took a bone density test a few years back, as this is recommended every now and then to IBD patients. In my case it turned out I fell in the category just below osteoporosis, called osteopenia, so GI prescribes calcium and vit D supplements since then. Other medication do exist for overt osteoporosis. Fosamax is one I know.
I have known of only one young person with very severe CD who took lots of pred in teenage and young adulthood who needed several joint replacement surgeries. This seemed like a rare and very severe case to my GI when I talked to him about her case though.

I am really hoping you will recover fast and I would also encourage you to talk to your GI about it.
Maybe a physical therapist could also help you.
Let us know how you do.🌷
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my little penguin

Staff member
Hugs ...
Ds was dx at 7 (now 17)
He has had bone density scans twice
Showing osteopenia.
Same instructions- avoid pred when possible
Vitamin D daily
Weight bearing exercise not just exercise to strength bones -from PT
Thanks for the well wishes!

I finally got the results of the bone density scan. Spine isn't too bad, but my hips have a lot of deterioration. I was diagnosed as having osteopenia, but told that I am getting dangerously close to osteoporosis. One hip was -1.8, the other was -2.2. Was told that -2.5 is the threshold to be considered to have osteoporosis. Not something you want to hear in your early 40s.

Once my fracture heals, I was told to walk every day for at least 45 minutes. Vitamin D regimen was changed from 8,000 IU daily to one single 50,000 IU dose per week. I can't take calcium supplements due to a history of multiple kidney stones, also attributable to Crohn's. My doctor told me other than this, there isn't much else I can do.

I'm supposed to have the bone scan done again in 12 months. If it's any worse, they're going to want to start me on some kind of medication for bone loss. I didn't ask the name or what it would involve - I figure I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I didn't take a lot of corticosteroids other than budesonide for several months. My Crohn's has always involved my small intestine, which may explain the lack of absorption of calcium and other nutrients.