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Overview

Rickets - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Rickets?

Rickets is a condition when the bones become soft and brittle. Along with weak bones, there is also stunted growth and skeletal deformities in the person. Main cause of rickets is the lack of vitamin D, phosphate and calcium in the body.

Vitamin D is necessary for absorption of calcium and phosphates from the intestine. Vitamin D is mainly produced in the body when a person is exposed to sunlight. Other sources of Vitamin D are fish, eggs, and milk. When there is insufficient Vitamin D, this causes low levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. As a result the body signals the release of calcium and phosphate from the bones resulting in weak bones.

RIsh Factors :

Many risk factors have been identified for developing rickets. Rickets are common in children between the ages of 6 and 36 months. It is very common in regions where there is less sunlight and children eat vegetarian food and do not eat milk products. Infants who are fed only on breast milk also have a risk of developing rickets because breast milk has low quantities of vitamin D. People with dark skin are at higher risk because the skin prevents penetration of sunlight thereby avoiding the body from producing vitamin D.

Diagnosis and Treatment :

When a person visits a doctor for any sort of pain in the bones, doctor will check the bones to understand if there is any sort of pain or tenderness by slightly touching the bones. Tests like x-ray, blood tests and arterial blood gases test is used to determine the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body along with any check for any skeletal abnormalities.

Treatment for rickets includes recommendations for more exposure to sunlight and consumption of foods high in vitamin D namely eggs, milk and fish. This will slowly remove the symptoms of rickets namely tenderness in the bones. Calcium and vitamin D supplements also provided as treatment for rickets.

Best way to prevent rickets is by eating adequate amounts of calcium and phosphate. In winter months when sunlight is less, face and hands should be exposed to sunlight. Use of sunscreen during summer may prevent absorption of sunlight by the body and hence adequate intake of foods rich in vitamin D, calcium and phosphate is necessary.

Too much exposure of the body to sunlight may result in sunburn and hence should be avoided. By taking preventive steps one can avoid rickets and help in the formation of healthy bones.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
Delayed growths Pain in spine Pain in the spine Weak legs

Popular Health Tips

4 Causes Of Metabolic Bone Disease!

Fellow Adult Knee Reconstruction and Sports Injuries, Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice, MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
4 Causes Of Metabolic Bone Disease!

Metabolic Bone Disease is a term used for various conditions of the bones that can be caused by a number of different disorders. Most of these disorders are developed due to nutritional deficiencies, defects in the bone metabolism procedure or due to hereditary defects in the skeletal structure. Conditions that fall under the category are osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, Paget's disease, parathyroid conditions, chemotherapy induced bone loss and menopause induced bone loss.

Causes of Metabolic Bone Diseases:

  1. Imbalance in the level of calcium : Too much calcium or too little calcium can cause bone diseases. While the overabundance of calcium (hypercalcemia) in the body will lead to calculi formation, which can be harmful for the body, the lack of calcium (hypocalcemia) causes weakness, bone pain and restricted growth. 
  2. Deficiency of phosphorus: Low phosphorus in blood (hypophosphatemia) leads to softening of the bone tissue and bone loss. Osteomalacia is commonly caused by phosphorus deficiencies.
  3. Deficiency of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium. Cells called osteoblasts need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and secrete the bone tissue proteins. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to a number of metabolic bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
  4. Over or under secretion of the parathyroid hormone:The parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulates the secretion of an enzyme, which converts the inactive circulatory form of vitamin D into its active usable form. The hormone can also increase the circulation of free or ionized calcium (Ca2+), which is not attached to proteins. Both underproduction and overproduction of the hormone causes skeletal problems.

Symptoms of Metabolic Bone Diseases:

The symptoms of most of the Metabolic Bone Diseases are similar, such as 

  1. A dull, throbbing pain in the bones is the most common symptom. The pain is frequent and lasts for a long amount of time, but unlike muscular pain, the exact region of bone pain cannot be specified.
  2. Severe joint pains accompanied by stiffness and swelling of the joints. The patient experience pain during regular physical activities, especially during cold weather conditions.
  3. Frequent fractures are caused by most bone diseases because the bone mineral density decreases drastically. Severe bone injury may be caused by mild trauma.
  4. Defects in the bones can cause bowed out legs and a bent backbone.
  5. A general feeling of exhaustion is often caused by bone diseases.
  6. Kidney stones are an associated complication of metabolic bone diseases.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2643 people found this helpful

Ways To Deal With Rickets In Children!

M.D(Pediatrics), MBBS
Pediatrician, Rewari
Ways To Deal With Rickets In Children!

A nutritional disorder, the problem of rickets occurs if your child suffers from a deficiency of calcium, phosphate or Vitamin D. It causes softened and damaged bones, skeletal deformities, impaired development of the bone's growth plate (a spot of growing tissue found near the end of a long bone in adolescents and children) and stunted growth.

Here are few very simple ways you can prevent your child from getting it:

1. Having Vitamin D and calcium rich foods - One of the best ways to prevent this nutritional disorder from affecting your child is by making sure he or she have foods that are high in Vitamin D and calcium. Egg yolks, fish oil or fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are some of the Vitamin D foods that your child can have to strengthen his bones. Even foods that have Vitamin D added to it such as cereals, orange juice, milk and infant formula can also be given to your child. Sources of calcium can be soyabeans, nuts, broccoli, cabbage, cheese and yoghurt.

2. Going out in the sun - Considered to be an excellent source of Vitamin D, getting your child exposed to sunlight is another excellent way of getting most of this nutrient, as well as preventing him or her from developing rickets. Although the exposure time may vary from individual to individual, about 10-15 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen can help.

3. Having Vitamin D supplements - Even the consumption of Vitamin D supplements can reduce your child's risk of getting rickets. Since mother's milk contains less than the recommended Vitamin D amount, infants too need to be put on Vitamin D supplements of 400 IU each day. For teenagers and young children, the recommended dosage is 600 IU of Vitamin D every day. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.

2685 people found this helpful

Is Your Child Suffering From Rickets? 3 Ways To Deal With It!

MBBS, MD - Paediatrics
Pediatrician, Jaipur
Is Your Child Suffering From Rickets? 3 Ways To Deal With It!

A nutritional disorder, the problem of rickets occurs if your child suffers from a deficiency of calcium, phosphate or Vitamin D. It causes softened and damaged bones, skeletal deformities, impaired development of the bone's growth plate (a spot of growing tissue found near the end of a long bone in adolescents and children) and stunted growth.

Here are few very simple ways you can prevent your child from getting it:

1. Having Vitamin D and calcium rich foods - One of the best ways to prevent this nutritional disorder from affecting your child is by making sure he or she have foods that are high in Vitamin D and calcium. Egg yolks, fish oil or fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are some of the Vitamin D foods that your child can have to strengthen his bones. Even foods that have Vitamin D added to it such as cereals, orange juice, milk and infant formula can also be given to your child. Sources of calcium can be soyabeans, nuts, broccoli, cabbage, cheese and yoghurt.

2. Going out in the sun - Considered to be an excellent source of Vitamin D, getting your child exposed to sunlight is another excellent way of getting most of this nutrient, as well as preventing him or her from developing rickets. Although the exposure time may vary from individual to individual, about 10-15 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen can help.

3. Having Vitamin D supplements - Even the consumption of Vitamin D supplements can reduce your child's risk of getting rickets. Since mother's milk contains less than the recommended Vitamin D amount, infants too need to be put on Vitamin D supplements of 400 IU each day. For teenagers and young children, the recommended dosage is 600 IU of Vitamin D every day. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.

2667 people found this helpful

Calcium Deficiency - 3 Signs You are Suffering from it

MBBS
General Physician, Delhi
Calcium Deficiency - 3 Signs You are Suffering from it

Calcium is known for its role in maintaining the bone health, from keeping your teeth stronger to normal functioning of the cells.  But there are various factors, which lead to a deficiency of calcium in the human body and paves the way for several complications.

Here are the top three signs that indicate you are suffering from calcium deficiency.

  1. Difficulty in sleeping: Sleep is essential for your bone health and calcium is directly associated with your sleep cycle. The level of calcium in your bones rises and falls when you are asleep and it reaches its peak when you are in deep slumber. This indicates that when you are unable to sleep properly, it is a warning sign of calcium deficiency. There are various researches that have confirmed, that by increasing the level of calcium, it is possible to restore the normal sleep cycle of an individual. This is also related to the role that calcium plays in the production of a sleep hormone called melatonin. When the calcium content in the body is really low, this hormone is not produced, thus, making it difficult for a person to sleep.
  2. Difficulty in losing extra pounds: Yet another frustrating aspect of any individual’s life is the inability to shed off excess pounds. This issue is also linked with the lack of calcium supply in the body. The calcium that’s stored in the cells assists in the processing and storage of fat. So the fat cells with high calcium content burn faster, making you lose weight. Thus, if you have trouble losing weight in spite of having a well-regulated diet and regular workout, it’s a sign that you are suffering from low calcium.
  3. Paresthesia: Though this ailment is not much heard of, it could be a sign of calcium deficiency. Paresthesia is a nervous disorder, which causes tingling sensation, tremors, numbness and loss of sensitivity. It could also lead to poor concentration, amnesia, confusion, hearing impairment, twitches and other physical as well as neurological impairment. This is because low calcium in the blood is connected with the health of your nerves.

The deficiency of calcium can manifest itself in different intensity, ranging from the non-existent to minimal to severe levels. Chronic calcium deficiency can lead to life-threatening diseases like rickets, osteopenia, and even osteoporosis. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore these signs and consult an expert without delay. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

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Popular Questions & Answers

My 2 years old male child is suffering from rickets. How much time it will take to recover from rickets and is rickets is treatable or not?

MBBS, MD, Diploma in Child Health (DCH)
Pediatrician, Delhi
RICKETS is of 2 types 1.vitamin D deficient rickets which recovers after 2 _3 months. 2. Vitamin resistant rickets which has different cause & difficuit to treae & takes a very long time & requires heavy dose of vitamin D.
1 person found this helpful

I am feeling that my legs are bending outside is it rickets and if it is what is the treatment if it is curable.

DNB (ENT), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Bangalore
Hi . Rickets is typically seen in children. The outward bowing of legs in adults can be associated with vitamin d deficiency but can also be related to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and some collagen vascular diseases. A serum vitamin d and bone density scan will be able to tell you what it is. You can see an orthopaedician to have these tests and once the diagnosis is made, appropriate treatment can be initiated.

Which of the following test is used for rickets A) Lucke's test B) Line test C) Legal's test D) Lange's Test.

MD - Paediatrics
Pediatrician,
None of the above. An x-ray of the wrist (showing fraying, cupping, splaying) A reduction in Vit. D levels An increase in the Alkaline phosphatase levels.

My 2 year child is suffering from rickets and his right leg is slightly tent Can his legs become normal like other child.

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), F.I.A.M.S. (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Muzaffarnagar
If it is not refractory rickets, legs may become normal. Give him vitamin D 60000 units once in a week for 4 weeks n calcium rich diet supplement with calcium 300 mg daily. Sun light between 10 to 2 for about 1 hour to bare body is useful.

My baby is 4 years old suffering from rickets. What are the remedial steps should taken in diet or daily routine?

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), MBBS
Pediatrician,
Rickets is disease of deficiency of vitamin d3. Give milk and milk products more also more exposure to sunlight.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Rickets?

RIsh Factors :

Diagnosis and Treatment :

Play video
Why it's Important That Your Child's Diet is Calcium-Rich
Why it's important that your child's diet is calcium-rich

Calcium is an inevitable part of your child's diet. You cannot afford to skip it if you wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your child. It is recommended that children between the ages of 9 and 18 should get approximately 1300 milligrams of calcium every day. Calcium-rich diet is important for your child for a number of reasons.

Why calcium?

Calcium helps in building strong bones and teeth for your child.
It is important in order to ensure proper functioning of your child's muscles and nerves.
Calcium plays a vital role in the release of such hormones and enzymes in your child's body that convert the food he eats into energy.
It is also helpful in causing the blood to clot whenever your child gets bruised.
Since your child is continuously growing, a calcium-rich diet ensures an adequate supply of resources that help him to develop new bones that are healthy and strong.
A calcium-rich diet is also essential as far as other bodily functions like muscle contraction, blood vessel constriction and relaxation are concerned.
What does lack of a calcium do to your child's body?

Lack of calcium can cause bone diseases like osteoporosis in your girl child, thus exposing her to a greater risk of weakened bones and possibility of fractures.
If your child is a young kid and his diet lacks calcium or vitamin d, which absorbs calcium, he is exposed to the threats of the bone-softening disease called rickets. It can cause in him bowing of the legs, muscle pain and poor growth.
Bones are living tissues that change constantly, old bones keep getting replaced by newer ones and a calcium-rich diet aids this procedure. Therefore without an adequate supply of calcium, this process would borrow minerals from existing bones, thus weakening them and exposing them to increased risks of fracture.
Lack of calcium also increases risks of cardiovascular diseases, damaged gums, high blood pressure, ovarian and breast cancer and several other infirmities in your child in his later years.
Play video
Know More About Vitamin D Deficiency
I am Dr IPS Kochar, a pediatrician and endocrine diabetologist. Today, I am going to talk on very intresting topic, Vit-D which everyone wants to know.

So, Vit-D is essential to maintain calcium. It basically maintains the bone metabolism of the body and it is done basically through absorption of calcium from the intestine and also from renal tubular absorption of calcium. When VIt-D becomes deficient, the hormone PTH is released which tries to maintain calcium and phosphorus in the body. The deficiency of Vit-D in different groups are different. You can have it in the new born periods, in the childhood period or in the adolescence.

So, in the new born period, children may have some features like staying more tired, the problems related to bones such as bow legs i.e, curving of legs. Then there may be some other problem which is called genu valgum in which they have knock knees. These are some conditions which you can find. These are called as Rickets. And this ricket is responsible for Vit-D deficiency.

In the country like India which has a plenty of sunlight, why we are still facing Vit-D deficiency?

One of the reason is that lifestyle ahs changed. We are involved in more of a technical lifestyle. The best time to absorb Vit-D is 9-11 am in which one can absorb maximum amount of Vit-D. But at this time most of us are in teh office, the children are in the schools and the housewives are inside the house. So you are hardly able to absorb Vit-D.
Secondly. there is lot of pollution which does not allow us to absorb Vit-D
Covering of the body is another major factor.
There is a smog which blocks the vit-D
The sources of vit-D are very few. Most of the vit-D is in non veg. But maximum of the Indians are vegetarian. The best sources of Vit-D are fish, eggs. The one important thing all vegetarian must know that they can take mushroom. This will help in maintaining the Vit-D level. So, there are least sources of VIt-D.

There are two types of Vit-D, Vit-D2 and Vit-D3.

Vit-D2 is Ergocalciferol and Vit-D3 is Cholecalciferol. So we can get maximum of the Vit-D from the sunlight which we are not getting. In order to cover up Vit-D deficiency, we need to consume Vit-D. Otherwise children may suffer from Bow legs or genu valgum. In the adolescence, people may suffer from osteomalacia in which there is pain in the legs and bones. So, all these conditions are aggravated.

How to overcome with the deficiency of Vit-D?

Regularly take Vit-D. You can either take it weekly form or in the daily form. Consulting a doctor will be helpful. Also, Vit-D prevents the chances of cancer, hypertension, Diabetes, repeated infection in the children. Everybody should take Vit-D either weekly or daily form.

Thank you very much.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice