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Jintana Bounsombat, Thailand

"The pain was so strong that I could hardly stand."

Jintana Bounsombat

For most of her working life, from the ages of 24 to 50, Jintana Bounsombat, of Bangkok, worked at a printing company.

She used a low-dose steroid to treat bronchial asthma, and she was able to work unhindered.

However at the age of 49, she was admitted to hospital because of an acute jaundice attack. She was diagnosed with cholecystitis and had her gall bladder removed.

Part of her post-operation treatment was a high-dose steroid. She returned to work, but after a year, at the age of 50, she suffered severe back pain.

"The pain was so strong that I could hardly stand," she says. "It was impossible for me to continue working."

She saw an orthopedic surgeon who took X-rays that revealed multiple compression fractures of her lumbar spine resulting from steroid-induced osteoporosis. The surgeon prescribed analgesic drugs and calcium tablet to her.

Jintana had to resign from her job and stay at home, as an invalid without any financial support from her employer. She lived with what she called " self sufficient economy".

Her osteoporosis progressed and she suffered the classical "cascade" effect of additional spinal fractures in the thoracic vertebrae, which has led to a kyphosis and loss of height. Then her rib cage collapsed into her pelvis, causing her even more pain and discomfort.

Jintana is now 74, and rarely leaves her home. She warned other women in similar situation to be aware of osteoporosis and visit the doctor more often for prevention and prompt treatment of osteoporosis.

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