Osteoporosis prevention better than cure

Osteoporosis prevention better than cure
Singapore General Hospital nurse-clinician Zhang Rong Fang does counselling and runs the Osteoporosis Nurse Clinic.

Although I support Ms Tang Siew Ngoh's request ("Offer subsidy for osteoporosis drug"; Jan 9), more preventive measures need to be put in place to protect our ageing population from osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is often described as a "silent disease", as people do not know they suffer from it until their first bone fracture.

The best way to detect osteoporosis is to do a bone scan, known as the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. This procedure measures the density of the bones.

It is recommended that all women over the age of 65 undergo this procedure, which is painless and takes less than 15 minutes.

There are now effective types of medicine for the treatment of osteoporosis, but these can be costly. Hence, it is more important that we educate the population on this debilitating disease and how to prevent it.

A balanced diet rich in calcium, adequate vitamin D intake and regular weight-bearing exercises from a young age significantly reduce bone loss and help people maintain a fit and active life.

A good prevention programme can save money and suffering.

This article was first published on February 13, 2015.
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