No one diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis understands everything about their condition. Scientists and doctors don’t. Researchers have spent millions trying to figure it out.
So when someone doesn’t know what IBD is all about -- that those letters stand for inflammatory bowel disease, or that it's an umbrella term for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis -- we shouldn’t be surprised.
These diseases are complicated. They look different with every person. And they’re often uncomfortable...
Calcium. Steroids for Crohn's disease can weaken bones and make it hard to absorb this key mineral. If your body can't digest milk or milk products, you're even more likely to be short on calcium. Up to half of people with Crohn's have thinning bones. Taking extra supplements -- often 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day -- will help keep bones strong and prevent other problems.
Vitamin D. It helps your body absorb calcium for strong bones, but people with Crohn's disease often don’t have enough. Your doctor may suggest an 800-IU daily supplement.
Vitamins A, E, and K. Surgery can make it hard for your body to absorb fats. That lowers your levels of these vitamins.
Iron. It's the best treatment for anemia from blood loss in your intestines. Your doctor may tell you to take iron tablets, liquid, or infusions.
Potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Your doctor may suggest a daily supplement to raise your levels.