Osteopenia is a condition where the bones become weakened and less dense and have fewer minerals than they should. This can often lead to osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become brittle and susceptible to breaking and fracturing.
Both of these bone diseases are common among cystic fibrosis patients as they struggle to get the required minerals and nutrients from their diets. In addition, childhood infections, a vitamin D deficiency, delayed puberty and being treated with corticosteroids can also lead to the bone conditions.
While these bone diseases can occur at any age, it is common for children and young adults with cystic fibrosis to develop them. Children with cystic fibrosis should be screened for osteopenia and osteoporosis regularly. It’s a simple procedure that tracks their height and weight and scans their body to determine bone density.
Eating a healthy diet, exercising (particularly weight-bearing exercise) and checking vitamin D levels are all ways to help prevent these bone diseases from developing in young cystic fibrosis patients. Find out more about osteopenia and osteoporosis here.
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