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Reducing the risk of osteoporosis

KOTA KINABALU: By 2050, the population of senior citizens will be one third the total population and will impact the rising osteoporosis cases in the country, says Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Tan Chen Wee.

He said although osteoporosis cases are commonly experienced by doctors, society failed to reach a level of awareness for the disease.

“With the existence of World Osteoporosis Day which is celebrated on Oct 20 annually, we will be able to improve the level of awareness among the public with the goal of reducing the risk of osteoporosis,” he said, at a ceremony to mark the occasion at Queen Elizabeth Hospital II, Friday.

Medical Officer Dr Timothy Cheng said they (doctors) want to catch osteoporotic people before they experience a bone fracture.

“It is better to do this instead of patients coming to us with bone fracture before knowing that they are osteoporotic.

“People tend to get medical check-ups for diabetes or hypertension which can be diagnosed very easily by just doing a simple blood pressure and blood sugar check. However, they rarely go for DEXA scan (also known as bone densitometry scan).

“So if a person receives a fracture by falling down in toilet, it is too late,” he said.

He also implemented various methods to educate the public in the hospital.

“There are many ways we can educate the public to raise awareness such as pharmaceutical sites, quizzes, lectures, booths selling calcium-related products and most importantly, health screening counter.”

Dr Cheng advised the general public to have a proper dietary and sufficient exercise to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

“Your calcium intake should be sourced from dairy products but if you are lactose intolerant, you should consider soy-related products.

“You should also exercise regularly as it increases bone strength. The more you lie down, the weaker your bones get.

“As for women who reached menopause, they should continue eating healthily while maintaining a proper diet and exercising regularly,” he said.

He also advised that fall prevention is the best for the elderly as it is not only about preventing osteoporosis but to also prevent a fracture form the disease.

“If you are already 50 years old, you should always try your best not to fall and for those who are already experiencing osteoporosis, you can still continue current supplements and working out regularly to build up significant bone mineral density,” he said.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Thong Fu Tuen said doing health screening for the general public is one of the most important objectives.

“If you are aged above 50, you have a 20 per cent risk of having osteoporosis and despite having a regular exercise and proper diet, you may not know if you have the disease unless you have a scan.

“We are suggesting people above certain age to go through at their DEXA levels to detect any signs of osteoporosis.

“An early check-up can result in early treatments which helps to maintain the bone stronger for a longer period of time and thereby, preventing fractures,” he said.

Also present at the event were Sabah State Health General Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi, Sabah State Health Deputy General Director (Medical Division) Dr William Gotulis and Queen Elizabeth Hospital II General Director Dr Haji Razak bin Tambi.



Daily Express, 21st October 2017

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