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Reducing risks of osteoporosis fractures in Crohn’s disease with impact and resistance training

Cr. John Arano

Crohn's Disease and Osteoporosis

Crohn’s Disease (CD) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease which causes your digestive tract to be swollen and irritated. 

Amazingly, CD is also linked with osteoporosis. 

This is due to the inability of the small intestines to absorb nutrients, including Vitamin D. 

Thus causing Vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin that is important for the formation of bones.

This in turn may result in osteoporosis. 

The link between CD and osteoporosis is also associated with inflammation, high-dose corticosteroid use, as well as a lack of exercise and physical activity.

Studies on Impact of Exercise to Increase Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

A recent study shows that combined impact and resistance training exercises help raise bone mineral density and muscle function. 

Thus, benefiting patients with Crohn’s disease (CD).

CD patients have a high risk of developing osteoporosis and related fractures.

Researchers selected adults with stable CD and were assigned to undergo an exercise intervention or receive usual care alone for 6 months. 

Usual care plus a combined impact and resistance training program was given to the exercise group. 

Whereas patients underwent three 60-minutes sessions per week, with a gradual tapering of supervision to self-management.

Most of the patients had the quiescent disease and none of the patients smoked. 

Result of The Study

216 months median time since the CD diagnosis and according to baseline BMD measurements, 12 patients had evidence of osteopenia or osteoporosis at the lumbar spine and 20 at the left hip. 

The most common medications used for CD were immunosuppressants and biologics; none were on corticosteroids.

The bone mineral density (BMD) values were better in the exercise group vs the control group at 6 months. 

Moreover, the difference is significant at the lumbar spine, but not at femoral neck nor at the greater trochanter.

Even though there were three exercise-related adverse events (for instance light-headedness and nausea) the intervention yielded improvements in all muscle function outcomes and fatigue severity.

The findings highlight the intervention as a suitable model of exercise for reducing the future risk of osteoporotic fractures and physical disability in this high‐risk population.

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