Osteoporosis changed my life.
At 32 years of age, I began experiencing pain, and decided to visit a doctor. He diagnosed muscular pain.
When discussing this with a friend, she suggested that I get a bone density test. I went to a doctor to request a test, which showed osteoporosis. However, the doctor dismissed the result as being wrong. He said that osteoporosis is a woman’s disease and I was far too young to have osteoporosis anyway.
That’s when I contacted the Foundation for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Diseases (FOSEMO), Panama’s main patient and medical organization for osteoporosis and related diseases.
At FOSEMO, after asking many questions about my childhood, they noted that I didn’t drink milk because of lactose intolerance, and I had had a fall at age 13 in which I had fractured my tibia (bone in the lower leg). Also, at 25 years of age I dislocated my jaw while exercising. An X-ray at the time revealed some bone thinning but it wasn’t given any importance.
With my visit to FOSEMO, my life changed emotionally. Even though I had had a diagnosis of osteoporosis, no one had paid attention to everything that I was going through until FOSEMO took care of me. I finally had expert advice and was started on treatment. My therapy included regular exercise, a calcium-rich diet, vitamin D supplements, and bisphosphonates which I took for eight years. As a result, I gained bone density and felt stronger.
I have now been on a drug “holiday” for some six years. However, my job demands more hours and it’s very sedentary, so I have been doing less physical activity. Two years ago, I had another BMD test which revealed that I am losing BMD faster, so I´ve been placed on treatment again.
I’d like to warn men that osteoporosis can affect us too, but it is a manageable condition which can be easily detected and successfully treated.