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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003 Aug;15(8):869-76.

Management of osteoporosis in patients with gastrointestinal diseases.

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Department of Medicine I, University of Ulm, Germany.


Osteoporosis is a frequent complication in the course of various gastrointestinal disorders. Since its pathogenesis is complex, and incompletely understood in comparison to the well-known pathomechanism of postmenopausal osteoporosis, adequate management is difficult. We first summarize those therapeutic options which have strong evidence in postmenopausal osteoporosis and, thereafter, we review those in the context of different gastrointestinal diseases. Treatment of the underlying intestinal disorder seems to be most important to normalise altered bone metabolism and to prevent osteoporosis in patients with coeliac disease. In patients with osteoporosis associated with Crohn's disease, various treatment strategies (such as vitamin D, sodium fluoride, bisphosphonates) are discussed. In contrast to postmenopausal osteoporosis, interventional studies in secondary osteoporosis are often limited by the small study population and data about the efficacy of any treatment in prevention of fractures are therefore lacking. Well-conducted, controlled studies with the endpoint of preventing fractures are therefore required to optimise the treatment of osteoporosis in these patients.

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