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3 Important Medical Conditions that cause Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the general term for a group of chronic inflammatory processes of known etiology involving the gastrointestinal tract. The two major IBD subgroups are 1) chronic nonspecific ulcerative colitis and 2) Crohn’s disease, with the latter disease occurring either in the small bowel (regional enteritis) or the colon (Crohn’s disease of the colon or granulomatous colitis).1

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America estimates there are about 1 million persons with IBD in the U.S. Syndicated market data indicate the prevalence of IBD patients under medical care to be approximately 800,000 in the U.S. and 1.5 million in the 7 major world markets.

Among the many medical problems encountered in IBD are multiple derangements of vitamin and mineral absorption and excretion that can complicate patient management. Patients with IBD are at high risk of developing hypovitaminosis as well as deficiencies of certain minerals and electrolytes; however, these problems can be addressed by appropriate nutritional strategies.

Studies show that IBD patients, as a group, may have a greater number of clinically significant vitamin and mineral deficiencies that any other large patient population. There are a number of reasons why IBD patients experience these deficiencies, including:

• Reduced intake from restricted diet or poor appetite.

• Reduced absorption from the effects of disease on capacity to absorb nutrients.

• Loss of nutrients through diarrhea or intestinal bleeding.

• Effects of common IBD medications such as sulfasalazine and steroids.

Specific Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies in IBD
IBD patients are at risk for a variety of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, some of the most common being:

• Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K – Vitamin D deficiency is the most common, with 20-60% of IBD patients having low circulating vitamin D levels. FORVIA contains all of these fat-soluble vitamins in a water-miscible form to encourage optimal absorption and efficiency.

• Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies associated with steroid use. FORVIA contains calcium diphosphate, a “non-gassy”/non-carbonate form of calcium for improved bone health.

• Folate – deficiencies common in both UC and CD.

• B vitamins, particularly B12, and especially in CD (5-50% of patients) due to disease in terminal ileum.

• Iron – particularly during bleeding. FORVIA contains vitamin C and iron in the ratio and amounts shown to increase iron absorption when given together.

• Zinc – high level of excretion during diarrhea, low zinc may contribute to growth retardation. FORVIA contains zinc, which is important for wound healing and immune function.

• Calcium – necessary with vitamin D for bone health.

• Magnesium – follows Ca++ and contributes to bone structure.

• Trace elements – e.g. selenium, chromium (generally, in short bowel syndrome and in total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

FORVIA tablets and chewables were developed on the basis of growing medical knowledge about the effects of disease on the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients. If you have any questions about FORVIA, contact us today.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue and gluten enteropathy, is an allergic response to gluten. Gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. In individuals with celiac disease, eating gluten results in inflammation and destruction of the intestinal villi. The villi are the site of absorption of nutrients so their destruction leads to malabsorption of food and deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. Celiac disease can be of varying intensity and can also have confusing symptoms. Two organizations with information on celiac disease are the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Celiac Disease Foundation.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Surgeries on the gastrointestinal tract that remove portions of the stomach or small intestine have the potential to reduce absorption of vitamins and minerals from food. Weight-loss, or bariatric, surgery procedures can result in malabsorption and significant deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. Weight-loss surgery procedures include those that reduce stomach volume such as stapling or lap band and bypass procedures, which reduce stomach volume and also bypass segments of the small intestine. The bypass procedures result in the most profound weight loss but also lead to serious vitamin/mineral deficiencies without daily supplementation with a high potency vitamin/mineral product. FORVIA Tablets and Chewables meet recommendations of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery committee on Nutrition. For non-commercial information about bariatric surgery, try this website.

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