Rickets/ Vitamin D deficiency
Rickets is a disease caused by the lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. This disorder involves softening and weakening of bones and is considered as the most commonly found childhood disease in many developing countries. The major cause of rickets is a vitamin D deficiency, but lack of adequate calcium may also lead to rickets.
Signs and Symptoms
The various signs and symptoms of rickets include:
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Dental deformities
- Impaired growth
- Increased bone fractures
- Muscle cramps
- Short stature
- Skeletal deformities
- Bumps in the ribcage
- Spine deformities
Causes of rickets
The primary cause of rickets is a vitamin D deficiency in the body. Vitamin D is responsible for proper calcium absorption from the stomach. Sunlight is considered as the major source of vitamin D which lets human skin cells convert vitamin D from an inactive to active state. Due to the lack of vitamin D, dietary calcium is not properly absorbed, leading to hypocalcaemia. Foods rich in vitamin D are butter, eggs, fish liver oils, margarine, fortified milk and juice, and oily fishes such as tuna, herring, and salmon.
The primary objective of rickets treatment is to relive symptoms and correct the cause of the condition. The cause should be treated to prevent the disease come back.
- The best treatment of rickets includes replacing calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D that is lacking
- Eating vitamin D-rich food such as fish, liver, and processed milk
- Exposure to moderate amounts of sunlight is encouraged
- If rickets is due to a metabolic problem, doctors would suggest vitamin D supplements
- Surgery may be needed to treat some skeletal deformities