Free osteoporosis test at Batac Hospital

LAOAG CITY, Oct. 24 — The country’s second-best Department of Health hospital awardee, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte is offering free osteoporosis screening this October 25, 2011.

According to Leifchard Nalundasan, chief Physical Therapist, the free screening is for women 40 years old and above.

“We are targeting the women from the various government institutions around the hospital, such as the City Hall, Department of Science and Technology, Mariano Marcos State University, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and PhilRice,” Nalundasan said.

The hospital conducts free osteoporosis screening annually and in the past the clients were senior citizens, members of women’s groups, and the like. This is the second time the hospital is offering free screening for this year.

Naludasan said those women who are post-menopausal, experiencing low-back pain, have stooped posture and on steroids are at risk for osteoporosis.

“These women will be screened if they have osteoporosis, osteopenia or are normal. The bone scanning will be done in a few minutes and administered by a licensed technician,” he said.

If the woman is found to have osteoporosis or osteopenia, she will be referred to the consulting rehabilitation physician.

Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose an excessive amount of their protein and mineral content, particularly calcium. As a result, bones become fragile and break easily.

Women are about five times more likely to develop the disease than men. They have thinner and smaller bones and lose bone mass rapidly after menopause when they stop producing the bone-protecting hormone estrogen.

The free screening will be held at the Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Unit of the hospital. (ANL/CPC-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)