People with CF are very prone to having osteoporosis, or any degree of osteopenia. Osteopenia is a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal. Osteoporosis is where there is a loss of bone mass and density. This means that you are more prone to fractures. CFers are prone to these bone conditions because of the absorption issues with digestion. We don’t get all of the nutrients from the foods we eat because they can’t be digested correctly. Most all CFers should take a multi-vitamin, whether it is the vitamins specifically for CF or an over the counter one. Extra vitamin D and calcium should also be taken to help keep bone health strong.
A dexa scan (bone mineral density test) is part of the normal regular CF testing to monitor the bone density. If the bone density is found to be low they will prescribe high doses of vitamin D. Having a low BMD (bone mineral density) raises the risk for fractured ribs. Our ribs take a beating with all the coughing that we do. Having a fractured rib is no fun. It hurts to breathe in and out, and that doesn’t even cover the coughing thing. It is almost impossible! We are fragile people…hahaha I have been in the “osteopenia” stage but managed to gain some bone density back. I’m not at a “normal” level but I am better than I was. This is why diet and vitamins are a key thing in CF care.