Osteomalacia/Rickets

Glenda Vazquez

. or problems with the break down of this vitamin. but they lack calcium.Introduction  Osteomalacia is known as the softening of bones due to insufficient vitamin D. The softness of the bones is more likely to cause bow and fractures.Bones with osteomalacia have sufficient amounts of collagen which gives the bones their structure. This disease is also known as rickets in children.

or where the air is smoggy. Lack of vitamin D. Certain Surgeries The removal of part or all of your stomach known as gastrectomy. . as well as a healthy one would. live in areas where sunlight hours are short. a protein found in wheat. If the pancreas is inflamed enzymes in charge of breaking down food and releasing nutrients do not flow as freely into your intestines.S. an organ that makes digestive enzymes and hormones. wear very strong sunscreen. and rye. Is less common in the U. barley. Surgery removing or bypassing your small intestine can lead to osteomalacia. because many foods. such as milk and cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Insufficient sunlight exposure Sunlight makes vitamin D in your skin. calcium and other minerals aren¶t absorbed efficiently. which are then absorbed by your intestines. the lining of the small intestine is damaged by consuming foods having gluten. Chronic sprue In this autoimmune disorder. Chronic pancreatitis Pancreatitis is the long-standing inflammation of your pancreas. Vitamin D insufficiency can cause osteomalacia because vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption and other minerals in the gastrointestinal tract necessary for bone building. Therefore osteomalacia can develop in people who spend little time in the sunlight. can lead to this disease because the stomach breaks down foods to release vitamin D and other materials. such as vitamin D. Damaged intestinal lining doesn¶t absorb nutrients.Causes/Rick Factors  ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ The most common cause of osteomalacia is a deficiency of vitamin D. so they are not available for mineralization in the bone building process. Insufficient vitamin D intake A diet low in vitamin D is the most common cause seen worldwide. This then result in soft bones.

S. such as in the Middle East. Rickets: Incidence in Europe is similar to that in the U.Incidence/Prevalence ‡ ‡ ‡  In the United States it is estimated that 20 to 25 million people suffer from osteomalacia. rickets may occur when infants are bundled in clothing and are not exposed to sunlight. severe nutritional rickets has become rare..S. including 25 percent of women beyond menopause Incidence of 1 per 1000 people in the United States Rickets: In the U. deficiency of calcium and/or phosphorous in the diet may lead to rickets. Breastfed infants who receive no vitamin D supplementation also are at risk. In sunny areas. persons who live in inner-city areas). individuals with dark skin. In some parts of Africa. although the mild disorder continues in the high-risk population (eg. .

. In order to rule out other bone diseases the following tests may be conducted: Blood and urine tests In the cases caused by vitamin D deficiency or phosphorous loss. but may be seen in x-rays or diagnostic tests. Radioactive dye is injected in the vein and a picture of the amount of radioactive dye gathers in your bones. Even though bone biopsies are very accurate in detecting osteomalacia. Those with osteomalacia have radioactive dye unevenly distributed in some areas of their bones. it is often not needed to make the diagnosis. doctors will inquire about the patient¶s time spent in the sun and about their diet. which is then viewed under a microscope. pelvis. Some people also walk with a waddling motion. legs and feet. Bone biopsy A bone biopsy is performed by inserting a slender needle through the skin and into the bone to withdraw a small sample. decreased muscle tone and discomfort during movement. Even gentle pressure on the bone may cause severe pain. As osteomalacia worsens symptoms may include bone pain and muscle weakness. When diagnosing osteomalacia. X-ray Slight cracks in the bones which are visible on x-rays known as looser transformation zones are characteristic of people with osteomalacia · Bone scan Bone scans detect areas of high and low bone metabolism in your body. abnormal levels of vitamin D and minerals calcium and phosphorous are often detected through blood and urine tests.Symptoms/Diagnosis       In the early stages of osteomalacia a person may not feel the symptoms. Bone pain is especially felt in the lower spine. The pain is dull and aching and get worse with physical activity. Osteomalacia may cause weakness and stiffness in the arms and legs.

Symptoms may lessen within a few weeks of treatment.Treatment Before After    When osteomalacia is caused from a dietary or sunlight deficiency. Although uncommon. vitamin D can also be given as an injection or through a vein in the arm. X-rays are also taken to determine the improvement of the bones. Most people with osteomalacia take vitamin D supplements by mouth for several weeks or months. replenishing the low levels of vitamin D in the body usually cures the condition. Doctors suggest that patients continue taking vitamin D indefinitely to prevent the return of osteomalacia. If the blood levels of calcium and phosphorous are low the patient may also take supplements of these minerals. they may undergo periodic blood tests to assure blood levels of vitamin D and certain minerals are within normal limits. After a patient begins treatment. Doctors also recommend vitamin D supplements depending on the dose needed and whether you have other health problems. .

and yogurt. Spend a few minutes in the sun Direct exposure in the sun to the arms and legs for five to ten minutes daily is sufficient for adequate vitamin D production. Eat food high in vitamin D Eat foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D such as oily fishes (salmon. Although regular use of sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. .Prevention      Osteomalacia caused by inadequate sun exposure and a diet low in vitamin D can be prevented. they should avoid strenuous activity until their bones heal. they are recommended to ask a doctor about taking vitamin D and calcium supplements. but if a patient has slight fractures due to osteomalacia. Take supplements If a person doesn¶t get enough vitamins and minerals in their diet or if they have a medical condition affecting the ability of their digestive system to absorbing nutrients. Other foods that are fortified with vitamin D include cereal. and sardines) and egg yolks. Exercise Exercise such as walking helps strengthen bones. bread. there is concern that the frequent use of strong sunscreen can increase the risk of developing ostemalacia. If a person lives in cold climate and don¶t get enough sun exposure during the winter. milk. mackerel. they can build enough vitamin D stores in the skin during warmer months.

Questions 1. or problems with the break down of this vitamin. The most common cause of osteomalacia is ____. Osteomalacia is known as the softening of bones due to insufficient vitamin D. A) True B) False 2. A) True B) False 4. Osteomalacia can develop in people who a lot little time in the sunlight. A) Vitamin D deficiency B) Lack of collagen C) Excess Vitamin D D) None 3. The softness of the bones is more likely to cause bow and fractures. A) True B) False .

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