Galilee Medical Center opened a new clinic to treat complex cases of osteoporosis, such as for rheumatology patients treated with steroids and others in need. Patients are examined jointly by Dr. Marina Nudelman, a Senior Endocrinologist who worked for several years in Rambam's Bone Metabolism Unit, and Dr. Ziv Paz, Director of our Rheumatology Unit.

Osteoporosis is a common disease that occurs in every third woman and fifth man in the general population and is manifested by a decrease in bone density and fractures. Decreased bone density is a natural part of the aging process but when it is particularly low, the risk of fractures increases significantly and requires treatment.

Treatment includes adjusting physical activity, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, and medications that reduce the risk of fractures. Women are more exposed to the disease due to a decrease in their level of estrogen (the female hormone) during menopause. In addition to advanced age, risk factors include lean body build, smoking, arthritis, and the use of some medications, such as steroids, that suppress bone building.

Osteoporosis is a "silent disease" that does not cause pain until the first fracture occurs. A diagnosis can be made via a bone density test, which is included in the health basket for all Israelis over 60 years of age. The decision on treatment is determined by the severity of the bone density reduction, the presence of risk factors for fractures or documented fractures.The most common osteoporosis fractures appear in the vertebrae, the wrist, and the femoral neck. In contrast to normal fractures, osteoporosis fractures can even be caused by minor trauma (such as falling from standing height) or sometimes even without any injury.

In addition to the new clinic, the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Institute, headed by Dr. Amir Bashkin, provides all the medical departments with counseling for osteoporosis in particular for patients suffering from fractures and testing and advice for the full range of related medical issues in the field.

Consultation may be obtained, with a referral and co-payment form from your health fund or payment of 100 NIS, Sunday through Thursday. For an appointment, call 04- 910-7558