Expert Blog


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Research shows bone loss is much more common in women than men. This can be a frustrating fact to read for women because one of the causes is low calcium intake. Why are women taking in less calcium? It could be because women are twice as likely to suffer from IBS.

IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. It’s an intestinal disorder that causes stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. One of the treatments is something called a low FODMAP diet, which means cutting back on dairy products that cause IBS symptoms. IBS experts warn that dairy is an important source of calcium and, therefore, should not be eliminated completely. It’s the same warning lactose intolerance experts give, especially to women. Lactose intolerance in women immediately raises a women’s risk for bone health problems.

Both women and men with digestive disorders are stuck between a rock and hard place. Either their digestive system suffers or their calcium intake, and thus, bone health.

What You Can Do

If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, lactose intolerance, or a similar condition, there are still ways of keeping your bones healthy.

  • Exercise—working out encourages bone health and growth

  • Vitamin D— sunlight exposure, for instance, is necessary for bone strength

  • Calcium—if dairy causes stomach issues, try green vegetables and lactose-free milk and cheese

Other Digestive Disorders

Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, also affect the digestive track. Currently, there is no evidence showing FODMAP diets help IBD. Even though dairy intake doesn’t seem to affect IBD, IBD can lead to spinal arthritis.

Symptoms include lower-back pain and morning stiffness, especially in Crohn’s disease.

Get Checked

It’s important for anyone who suffers from a gastrointestinal disorder and/or cannot consume dairy to speak to their doctor about how it may affect their bone health. This is especially true for women and those older than sixty

Your spine issues and intestinal disorders may be more related than you thought. At Sonoran Spine, we consider every factor when it comes to your spine and back. Request an appointment today.