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EARLY DETECTION: A WAY TO BEAT THE "SILENT KILLER"?

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Norma Larrea

NORMA LARREA

Norma Larrea, of Mexico City, was 47 when she got osteoporosis. "I couldn't do my household chores and had pain throughout my body," she recalls. Her doctor did not diagnose osteoporosis. Eventually, after considerable suffering, a specialist in osteoporosis diagnosed her properly and treated her for the disease. Norma was lucky. Although her diagnosis was late, it came before she broke any bones.

Isabelle Gottschalk-Schmidt

ISABELLE GOTTSCHALK-SCHMIDT

When Isabelle Gottschalk-Schmidt experienced "the worst pain of my life," her doctor told the 25-year-old German woman that she had a psychosomatic illness. Eventually, another doctor ordered x-rays, which revealed that she had fractured several vertebrae. Prof. Helmut Minne, a member of IOF's Board of Governance and the physician who treated Isabelle Gottschalk-Schmidt, says "it's criminal how many doctors ignore the obvious - that bone and joint pain like Isabelle's might be attributable to osteoporosis."

Claire Peach

CLAIRE PEACH

Australian Claire Peach hoped to become an Olympic rower. But during a race she dislocated her pelvis; a bone scan revealed that she had osteoporosis. "I was training so hard that my periods stopped," the young woman, now 25, explains. One positive side effect of Claire Peach's suffering is that after learning about the likelihood of a hereditary connection to the disease she encouraged her mother to have her bone density measured. Through this early detection Claire's mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis and receives treatment.

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