Master of Ceremonies Roger Fox welcomed everyone to the regular Sunday meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at Amari Resort’s Tavern by the Sea. After the usual opening announcements, he called on Club member Gavin Waddell, International Marketing Executive for Phayathai Sriracha Hospital, to introduce the guest speaker, Dr. Montien Sirisuntornlak. Dr. Montien is an Orthopedic Specialist from the Hospital. Gavin also announced that members of the hospital staff were present and giving free bone density checks.
Dr. Montien began by mentioning that he had previously spoken to the Club about hip replacement surgery. Today, he said, he would be talking about bone disease that affects the aged; women in particular. The disease is called Osteoporosis, which is a bone disease that can increase the risk of fracture.
MC Roger Fox introduces fellow member Gavin Waddel, International Marketing Executive for Phayathai Sriracha Hospital, to introduce the guest speaker Dr. Montien Sirisuntornlak for his talk on osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density which makes the bones weak. Dr. Montien displayed a picture of a normal bone compared to one with osteoporosis. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break from a relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a break. The most common area for fracture are the spine, hips, ribs, and wrists. It can be present without any symptoms; thus remaining undiagnosed until there is a bone fracture.
Dr. Montien said that some of the risk factors are: being a female, especially after menopause; family history of broken bones; personal history of bone fracture as an adult; smoking; excessive alcohol consumption; diet low in calcium; having a small body frame; and poor nutrition.
Dr. Montien explains the causes of osteoporosis, diagnosis and risk factors, and how to treat it. Phayathai Sriracha Hospital supplemented Dr Montien’s talk with free bone density checks for PCEC members.
Osteoporosis is caused by loss of bone mass faster than it can be created. He mentioned that the methods for diagnosing Osteoporosis are through x-ray, bone density scan, urine or blood examination, and bone biopsy. People who should have bone density testing are postmenopausal women below age 65 who have risk factors; all women aged 65 or older; and anyone with a personal history of bone fracture.
The primary treatment of osteoporosis is the prevention of bone fractures by reducing bone loss or by increasing bone density and strength. Prevention methods include lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, curtailing excessive alcohol drinking, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D.
Dr. Montien mentioned there are medications to stop bone loss and increase strength. The current medication of choice is bisphosphonates. This can help reduce the risk of both spinal and hip fractures, including people with previous bone breaks. Some others are calcitonin and selective estrogen-receptor modulators (SERMs). SERMs are similar, but not identical, to estrogen; thus they provide the bone benefits of estrogen without increasing the risks for breast cancer.
After Dr. Montien answered several questions from the audience, Roger Fox updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Judith Edmonds to conduct the always informative and sometimes humorous Open Forum, where questions about living in Thailand and Pattaya in particular are asked and answered.
‘And the winner is’ … Expat Club member Pat enjoys the prospect of a meal at one of Hawaii Bob’s retinue of fine but more economical restaurants, as part of the ‘Frugal Freddy’ Monday dinners.