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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Vitamin D and Calcium - Topic Overview

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) increases your child's risk of osteoporosis in two ways. Pain and swelling can cause your child to be less active, which leads to loss of bone mass. And long-term corticosteroid treatment for JIA also depletes bone mass.

To minimize osteoporosis during treatment, experts recommend adequate daily intake of vitamin D and calcium.1

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Foods high in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; calcium-fortified orange juice; and broccoli. Vitamin D is found in dairy products. Being out in sunlight for at least 15 minutes each day without sunscreen will also help with vitamin D intake. Your body makes vitamin D when it's exposed to sunlight.

Food-based sources of vitamins and minerals are better than dietary supplements, which are not as fully absorbed by the body. If your child has little appetite for food, though, your doctor may recommend dietary supplements.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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