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Layla Audi, Jordan

I have had lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) SLE for eleven years now. Six years ago I started serious steroid treatment after having had several lupus attacks. Lupus is an autoimmune disease which attacks various body systems. Steroids, such as cortisone, are used to relieve the symptoms although they don't cure the disease.

Layla Audi with her son Zeid and daughter Natascha

Layla Audi with her son Zeid and daughter Natascha
 

Unfortunately, no one told me that steroid treatment would put me at increased risk of osteoporosis. Had I known, I would have taken better care of myself from the start. I've had 2 babies during the past five years and in my second pregnancy I found out that I had osteoporosis after breaking 2 vertebrae. The past four years have not been easy. I have had a couple of encounters with pain and depression. Now that I've been receiving treatment for osteoporosis I'm improving.

A teacher by training, I joined the Jordanian Osteoporosis Prevention Society (JOPS) two years ago and was elected a member of the board as general secretary last year. JOPS has helped me a lot, both physically and emotionally. We are all working hard to increase awareness of osteoporosis and to help people with this disease.

Despite some physical limitations, I live a normal and happy life with my son Zeid, daughter Natascha and my husband. I am determined to remain independent by taking it easy and making sure that I follow my doctor's advice, eat healthy and calcium-rich food, and exercise regularly. I want people to know that with the appropriate medical treatment and by taking good care of yourself, you can live a normal life with osteoporosis. It does not have to be a crippling disease, but it can cripple you if you ignore it.

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