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Randa Rabie, Jordan

Randa Rabie accepted her back pain as completely normal. After all, four years ago she had fallen from a swing while playing with her children. Surely her aches were a result of that accident.

Four months ago Randa went for her annual checkup. She was lucky. Her doctor, Efteem Azar, is an osteoporosis specialist and recognized that Randa's pain might in fact be due to vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis.

How did he come to this conclusion?

Randa had undergone a hysterectomy five years earlier, but Dr. Azar notes that "since her ovaries had not been removed the cessation of menstruation that results from removing the uterus was not a predisposing factor."

However he learned that Randa's mother has osteoporosis-like symptoms, and since there is a genetic likelihood that a daughter is more likely to develop osteoporosis if her mother has the disease, Dr. Azar sent the woman for tests.

Randa Rabie's mother
Randa Rabie's mother was never diagnosed for osteoporosis despite obvious curvature of the back.

Although she's never been diagnosed, Randa's mother, Margaret Haddad, 85, almost certainly has osteoporosis. "She's got a severely rounded back and she's lost height," Randa explains. "Women of my mother's generation didn't get diagnosed for osteoporosis."

In addition, Randa's lifestyle contributes to her discomfort. She admits that she is "always stressed at work." As assistant president of the Arab Academy For Banking And Financial Sciences she travels frequently and doesn't exercise regularly.

When Dr. Azar looked at the results of Randa's X-rays he discovered that her back pain was indeed caused by a previously undiagnosed vertebral fracture. Her bone density test indicated osteoporosis.

"Women, especially those in third world countries, should have their bones checked," Randa advises. And they should watch their diet. "I wasn't eating the right food. I hate the smell of milk and never drink it."

Randa will have her next bone density test in a couple of months – only then will she know if her treatment is working. But one thing is certain. "My daughter, Arwa, who's 21, has to have a bone test before she suffers like I have."

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