Patient educators explain tips about osteoporosis to visitors during the campaign at Al Khor Hospital.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has launched a public awareness campaign to encourage Qatar residents to get screened for osteoporosis, a medical condition which causes bones to become weak and brittle, to commemorate World Osteoporosis Day (WOD).
The campaign, which started at Al Khor Hospital on October 20, also runs at Al Wakra Hospital as well as Hamad General Hospital (HGH).
The rheumatology division of HMC’s medicine department will host a talk on this year’s WOD theme: “Serve up bone strength” by Dr Nadia al-Ali, consultant and head of the endocrinology and metabolism department, Amiri Hospital, Kuwait, at HMC on October 25.
Dr Samar al-Emadi, senior consultant in the rheumatology division, and Qatar representative at the Pan Arab Osteoporosis Society, said: “Prevention of osteoporosis through screening and early detection as well as simple lifestyle changes such as increased exposure to sunlight, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking are more important than treating the lifestyle disease.”
“During the campaign, in each of the three hospitals we will educate patients and visitors to the outpatient departments by distributing pamphlets containing information describing osteoporosis, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment,” she said.
“We have prepared questionnaires. If people are found to be positive for osteoporosis during the screening, they will be advised to go for bone densitometry testing through appointment at Rumailah Hospital. After the BMD testing, we will follow it up by informing each patient over the phone about their results,” said Dr al-Emadi.
Dr al-Emadi noted that there are primary (post-menopausal) and secondary forms of osteoporosis, which could develop due to hormonal changes, choice of diets and lack of exposure to sunlight. She said osteoporosis could also be related to some kidney diseases or use of certain medications like steroids.
According to the official, there are typically no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, one may have signs and symptoms that include, back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra; loss of height over time, a stooped posture and a bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected.
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