Rickets: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Diet
October 12, 2022 | by Yashaswi Pathakamuri | Posted in Deficiency
Rickets is a disease that results in the weakening of bones and soft tissue. It is most common in children who don’t get enough vitamin D from food or sunlight. The first symptoms are usually pain and tenderness in the bones and muscles, followed by bowing of the legs and other skeletal deformities.
Rickets is a disease that can be caused by malnutrition and can lead to bone deformity, bone pain, and muscle weakness. The disease can be stopped if it’s treated early on with vitamin D supplements or exposure to natural sunlight.
Rickets is a disease that causes bones to be soft and weak. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus. Rickets can cause bone deformities and growth problems in children.
There are different types of rickets:
- Vitamin D deficiency rickets: This type of rickets can be caused by not getting enough vitamin D from the sun, milk, or other foods.
- Hypophosphatemic rickets: This type of rickets is caused by an imbalance of minerals like phosphorus and calcium.
- Genetic disorders: Some genetic disorders can lead to the development of rickets such as X-linked hypophosphatemic osteomalacia (XLH).
- Renal disease: Kidney disease can lead to changes in bone development which may result in the symptoms seen with this disorder.
- Other medical conditions: Conditions such as Crohn’s Disease or Celiac Disease may also lead to the development of Rickets
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptom of rickets is soft and weak bones in children under 4 years old. This is because their bones are still growing and need calcium for strength.
The signs and symptoms of rickets in children are:
- Has a poor appetite, doesn’t drink enough fluids, or has diarrhea can become dehydrated
- May have low energy levels or feel tired all day long
- May experience bone pain, muscle weakness, or muscle cramps
- Bowing of the legs
- Irregular teeth
- Excessive curvature of the spine
- knock knees, an unusually large gap between the shinbone and thighbone (lower leg)
- Softening and deformity of the bones
- An enlarged head from an accumulation of fluid on the brain, and delayed development
Rickets in adults may not show any symptoms at all but may result in osteomalacia (a weakening of the bones) or osteoporosis (a brittle bone condition).
Causes and Risk factors
Rickets is a disease that affects the bones and teeth. Rickets is caused by one or more of the following:
- Calcium deficiency
- Lack of phosphorus (too much protein in diet)
- Inadequate nutritional intake
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Lack of exposure to sunlight
- Genetic disorders
- Conditions like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease
Rickets is a disease that causes bones to become soft and weak. Complications of Rickets may include:
- Bone pain
- Bone deformities
- Joint pain
- Inflammation of the joints
- Deformities of the spine
- Kidney stones
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Loss of teeth
- Heart problems
Rickets can be diagnosed with the help of blood tests, X-rays, or bone scans. Usually, when Rickets is suspected, doctors will order an x-ray of the child’s bones to confirm the diagnosis. If x-rays show signs of rickets, then doctors will typically order a blood test to measure vitamin D levels and diagnose Rickets.
Blood tests: Rickets is a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency in children. It can be cured with a simple blood test. A blood test for Rickets checks for the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in your blood. This disease is caused by lack of vitamin D and calcium, which can be detected with a simple blood test.
X-rays: X-rays for Rickets is the process of using x-rays to diagnose the disease rickets. The bone structure of someone with rickets will appear different on an x-ray than someone without the disease. The first known use of x-ray for diagnosing rickets was in 1921 by British doctor Douglas Maclean.
Treatment and Prevention
The treatment for Rickets will depend on the severity of the condition. The doctor might prescribe an oral medication that contains vitamin D supplements or by eating foods rich in calcium to help improve the condition.
Some prevention methods for Rickets are:
- Increasing exposure to sunlight
- Making dietary changes
- Taking fish oil
- Getting more exposure to UVB light
- Eating a varied diet rich in Vitamin D and calcium
- Take a supplement with vitamin D and calcium every day to help with bone development
- Drinking milk
Rickets is a disease that affects the bones. It happens when there is not enough vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate in the diet. Vitamin D and calcium are found in dairy products. Phosphate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, and fish.
Some foods that can help prevent rickets include:
- Milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream
- Green leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce
- Dried beans such as kidney beans
- Fish like salmon or cod
- Eggs such as hard-boiled eggs
- Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
Rickets is a disorder of the bones in children and adults. It can also be called osteomalacia. It is important to know that most people who develop rickets are deficient in either vitamin D or calcium, but not both. Rickets has been found in people who have too much phosphorus, not enough calcium, or too much fluoride.
People with rickets are likely to have difficulty in standing up straight, walking or running, or playing sports. In severe cases, the curvature of the spine may become so pronounced that the person’s head appears to be on backwards or facing sideways.
Anyone who has concerns that their child may have a vitamin deficiency should speak with a doctor. They can advise on supplements and sun exposure.
People should always speak to their doctor before using supplements, as they can interact with other medications. In addition, obtaining too much vitamin D may not be healthful, according to the ODS.
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