Osteoporosis is believed to be a silent enemy - GulfToday

Osteoporosis is believed to be a silent enemy


A screening camp at RAK Hospital.

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The World Osteoporosis Day, marked globally on Oct.20 every year, should serve as a wake-up call for men and women above 50 years of age as 33 per cent of all women and 20 per cent of all men in this age category have a risk of osteoporosis and resultant complications like fractures. Even a trivial injury or sudden movement can cause fractures in such patients, said an expert.

“Many a times this silent enemy creeps up onto us and bursts onto the scene in the form of fractures and unexplained pain. An early diagnosis, effective management and good rehabilitation can go a long way to reduce the socio–economic burden of this disease,” commented Dr Shreerang Madhusudan Joshi, Specialist, Spine and Orthopedic Surgeon, RAK Hospital.

He said that earlier osteoporosis was considered to be an acceptable and inevitable part of ageing but not anymore. Good lifestyle habits, exercise and proper balanced diet can help ward off the disease immensely.

He stressed that menopausal women are at greater risk of developing the disease. Thus on the occasion of the World Osteoporosis Day, the RAK Hospital has launched the “Protect Your Bones” campaign to raise awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Osteoporosis especially in the more vulnerable perimenopausal women.

“Being female puts you at a greater risk of developing Osteoporosis and broken bones, in fact a women’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. The fact that women tend to have smaller and thinner bones and the hormone estrogen that protects bones, decreases sharply when a women hits menopause, increases their chances of developing the condition. Low vitamin D and calcium levels, smoking, excessive alcohol intake are some of the other factors that put one at risk of developing this debilitating disease,” added Dr Joshi.

Encouraging public to take early action to protect their bone and muscle health so that they can enjoy good quality of life and independence in future, the hospital is offering complimentary screening which includes Dexa Scan, Hydrotherapy session and consultation with Orthopedic Surgeon.

The first 100 people coming forward for the screening will also receive Vitamin D test for free. Starting from Sunday and running till Thursday, the free screenings will be held at RAK Hospital from 3pm–5pm for the entire duration of the camp.

A DEXA scan would help assess or measure bone density while the Hydrotherapy session is a therapeutic whole-body treatment that involves moving and exercising in water; essentially physiotherapy in a pool. Being immersed, buoyant or massaged in water can relieve our bodies in a variety of different ways. Hydrotherapy can help ease muscle pain and inflammation, back pain, ligament injuries, poor circulation, arthritis etc.

“Often osteoporosis remains undiagnosed and undertreated in turn severely impacting the effective management and treatment. By closing the care gap and through timely diagnosis and treatment we like to work together in reducing the socioeconomic burden of the disease. Our idea is to create maximum awareness, help people recognise the symptoms so that they come forward for screening and those who are already suffering; we would like to provide them with many non-surgical options while advising them on lifestyle changes,” concluded Dr Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director of RAK Hospital.

Since Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in bone health and low Vitamin D is one of the major factors that put one at risk of developing this debilitating disease, healthcare professionals suggest regular test for Vitamin D deficiency to help improve overall health condition in the UAE, where the number of Vitamin D deficient is alarmingly high. A Dubai Health Authority study presented in 2017 had revealed that about 90 per cent of the UAE population was Vitamin D deficient.

Experts stress that it is not enough to eat three meals a day and you’ll be healthy. Because, 90 per cent of Vitamin D is produced by the sun striking your skin and a person only gets 10 per cent of Vitamin D from his diet.

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