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How Cystic Fibrosis Affects the Bones

Topic Overview

Many people who have cystic fibrosis have low bone density, because they have problems absorbing vitamin D and calcium, which are necessary for strong and healthy bones. Low bone density can make a person who has cystic fibrosis more likely to have bone fractures or to develop osteopenia or osteoporosis in adulthood.

Routine dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) tests can check the density and strength of your bones.

Spending small amounts of time in the sun, exercising, taking vitamins, and eating nutritious foods can help prevent bone problems.

People who have cystic fibrosis may also have painful or swollen joints (arthralgia or arthritis) from time to time. Often these joint problems do not last more than a week and any pain can usually be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology
Last Revised July 18, 2013

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