Maidstone Support Group

Contact: Margaret

Tel: 0300 999 5090

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Maidstone Support Group meetings are normally on the fourth Monday of each month at The Early Bird pub.  When the Monday is a bank holiday, the meetings will be held on the fourth Tuesday.  See below for upcoming meetings in Maidstone and surrounding area.

The Early Bird, Minor Centre, ME14 5TQ

11am - 1pm

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Fri 4 Sep 2020

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Maidstone Support Group

Maidstone - September 2018 mtg Reports

We had two meetings this month

Monday, 24th September mtg:

There were sixteen of us at Monday's meeting, encouraging from my point of view but it shows that there are a great many people out there who need support.

In order to accommodate some members who are unable to attend a Monday meeting, the group agreed that a meeting which would fall on a Bank Holiday Monday should be moved to the following day which is of course a Tuesday. (Wednesdays seemed very unpopular for some reason).

The subject of speakers was broached. I had previously thought it would be a good idea to ask someone from the local Diabetes group to give us a talk, and intend pursuing this in the near future. It was suggested that an optician would also be interesting especially since at least two people present who suffer from GCA had actually been diagnosed by their opticians and sent to hospital post haste.

The suggestion that a reflexologist could talk to us was greeted enthusiastically and one of the group has agreed to facilitate this, with a view to having this speaker in November.

Talk turned to Dexa scans again and weight bearing exercise such as Nordic Walking which has been taken up by Penny who brought her poles with her to show us. Various people tried out the poles and I predict that we will be seeing people going shopping with their poles in the near future.

Swimming was also extolled as good exercise as was hydrotherapy. Perhaps we should hold a meeting in the swimming pool at the Hilton?!

Various PMR problems and queries rounded up the meeting, with the GCA people retiring to another room to talk over various problems relating to their specific malady.

The next meeting will be on Monday 22 October and will be the talk by an Osteopath which was postponed last month

Monday, 3rd September mtg:

Our meeting this week was swollen by five "newbies," four ladies and one gentleman.  Four are PMR sufferers and one has GCA.  The group decided that it would benefit everyone if they went round the group telling of problems encountered during the past couple of months and listening to the stories from our latest attendees. Some had been diagnosed a while ago but one had only learnt of his condition eight weeks ago, so he was still a little shell shocked. 

The group generally discussed the merits of uncoated and coated steroid tablets, some people revealing that their GPs refused to prescribe  the uncoated variety .... owing to the extra cost? 

The talk then naturally turned to Dexa scans, the newbies being urged to have one as soon as possible,  and the vexed question of such medication as Alendronic acid etc etc.... 

Thanks to all who attended our meetings.

Maidstone - July 2018 Report

Maidstone Group had a really excellent speaker, a retired osteoporosis nurse who gave an eye opening talk. 

We learned that it was only in the late 1990s was it deemed necessary to give calcium supplements if a patient was prescribed steroids, even though it was known that the use of steroids was damaging to bone structure.

It is really important to build good bone structure by the time one reaches the late 30s since that is the level for the rest of one's life.

The bone building cycle goes through four phases beginning with a resting phase, followed by the resorption of bone by osteoclasts. Next comes the clearance of debris from cavities in the bone. New bone is then laid down by osteoblasts after which the bone returns to the resting phase.

Smoking affects bone structure and formation as does alcohol consumed in excess.  Bone mass declines with age anyway particularly in women after the menopause. Frighteningly one in two women over the age of 50 will have a fracture.

Weight bearing exercise helps build up stronger bones as does drinking a pint of SEMI SKIMMED milk (which at 700ml contains more calcium than full fat milk). "Normal" people need 800ml a day of calcium whereas those unlucky enough to suffer from osteoporosis need 1500ml a day.

So for those who remember the old advert "Drinka pinta milka day," I will add one of my own "A walk a day keeps the fractures at bay."

Don't forget Vitamin D either. Our speaker, tongue in cheek, advocated running up and down the garden, naked, for ten minutes every day from May to September - as we get older we tend to cover up more thus losing exposure to the sun's rays.

There will be no meeting in August as the regular date falls on a Bank Holiday but the group decided that they would like a meeting on Monday the 3 SEPTEMBER instead.

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