Rickets – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments!

Rickets – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that everyone should know. In addition,  Rickets is a disease that affects the development of children’s bones, leaving them soft, fragile or deformed, which causes symptoms such as teeth problems, difficulty walking and delay in the child’s development and growth.

This disease can have several causes, but the most common ones involve a lack of Vitamin D or Calcium , and its treatment is done by taking multivitamin supplements guided by the doctor.

Main Causes of Rickets:  Vitamin D helps the body to properly control calcium and phosphate levels . If blood levels of these minerals become too low, the body can produce hormones that cause calcium and phosphorus to be released from the bones. This leads to weak and soft bones.

Vitamin D is absorbed from food or can be produced through the skin when exposed to sunlight. Lack of production of Vitamin D  by the skin can occur in people who:

  • Live in climates with little exposure to sunlight
  • have to stay indoors
  • Work indoors during the day
  • You cannot get enough vitamin D from your diet if:

Is lactose intolerant (have trouble digesting dairy products)

  • DOES NOT take dairy products
  • Follow a vegetarian diet

Babies who are exclusively breastfed can also develop Vitamin D deficiency . This milk does not provide the proper amount of vitamin. This can be a particular problem for children with darker skin in the winter months. This is because sunlight levels are lower.

Insufficient intake of calcium and phosphorus in the diet can also lead to rickets . This as the cause of a dietary deficiency of these minerals is rare in developed countries. Calcium and Phosphorus are found in milk and green leafy vegetables.

Your genes can increase your risk of rickets . Rickets is an inherited form of the disease, which is passed on from parents to children. It occurs when the kidneys are unable to retain phosphate ore. Rickets can also be caused by kidney disorders involving renal tubular acidosis.

Disorders that reduce the digestion or absorption of fats will make it more difficult for the body to absorb Vitamin D.

Occasionally, rickets can occur in children with liver disease. These children cannot convert Vitamin D to its active form.

Rickets is more common in children during periods of rapid growth. At this age, the body needs high levels of calcium and phosphate. It is usually seen in children aged 6 to 24 months. It is not common in newborns.

Main Symptoms of Rickets:  Symptoms of rickets include:

  • Bone pain or tenderness in the arms, legs, pelvis, and spine
  • Loss of muscle strength and weakness
  • Tooth deformities, including delayed tooth formation, defects in tooth structure,
  • Dental cavity
  • poor growth
  • Increase in bone fractures
  • muscle cramps
  • Short stature (adults under 5 feet or 1.52 meters tall)
  • Skeletal deformities, such as an irregularly shaped skull, bowed legs,
  • Lumps in the rib cage (rachitic rosary), the sternum is pushed forward (pigeon breast), pelvic deformities, and spinal deformities (abnormally curved spine, including scoliosis or kyphosis)

Treatment of Rickets:

Vitamin D and Calcium:  It is necessary to increase the absorption of Vitamin D and Calcium in children with rickets . For this you may need:

  • Eat more foods rich in Vitamin D and Calcium
  • Taking Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements Daily
  • Taking a Vitamin D injection every year, but this is only necessary if the child cannot take the supplements orally or has intestinal or liver disease.
  • Sunlight also contains Vitamin D , so you may be advised to increase the amount of time your child spends in the sun.

Treating Complications and Related Conditions:  When rickets occurs as a complication of another medical condition, treating the underlying condition will often cure the rickets. For example, people who have kidney disease and rickets may need dialysis.

If your child has a bone deformity caused by rickets , such as curved legs or spine, the doctor may suggest a treatment to correct it. This may involve a brace to support the affected area of ​​the body for the bones to grow into the correct location, or they may need surgery.

Genetic Rickets:  For hypophosphatemic rickets (where a genetic defect causes abnormalities in the shape of the kidneys and bones according to phosphate), a combination of phosphate supplements and special Vitamin D supplementation is required .

Children with other types of genetic rickets need large amounts of a special type of Vitamin D treatment .

How to Prevent Rickets:  There are several steps you can take to help prevent rickets . These include ensuring that your child eats a healthy, balanced diet and spends time in the sun.

Diet:  Make sure your child has a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of Vitamin D and Calcium .

  • Sources of Vitamin D Include:  Fish such as salmon , sardines and mackerel, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Sources of Calcium Include:  Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, soy beans and tofu, nuts and sardines.

If the child is on a restricted diet – for example, vegetarian or vegan – they may not be getting essential vitamins and minerals and may need supplementation.

Sunlight:  Despite being present in foods of animal origin, foods do not have the amount of Vitamin D that the body needs. Therefore, to avoid the lack of the substance, it is important to take 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight a day. Arms and legs must be exposed, as the amount of Vitamin D that will be absorbed is proportional to the amount of skin that is exposed.

When exposing yourself to the sun to obtain the vitamin, it is important not to apply sunscreen. To give you an idea, the protector factor 8 inhibits the retention of Vitamin D by 95% and a factor greater than that practically eliminates the production of the substance. To avoid skin cancer , after the recommended 15 to 20 minutes to get the vitamin, apply sunscreen.

Windows also hinder the absorption of Vitamin D. This is because type B ultraviolet rays (UVB), capable of activating the synthesis of Vitamin D , cannot pass through the glass.

Supplements:  Most people can get all the Vitamin D they need through their diet and sunbathing. However, certain groups of people are at an increased risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency and may need to take supplements to prevent rickets . The risk groups are:

  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Children who have difficulty absorbing vitamin D and calcium
  • Seniors
  • People of Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern origin
  • People who always cover up all their skin when they’re out
  • People who cannot or are not exposed to the sun
  • People who don’t eat oily meat or fish.

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