Rickets is a condition when the bones become soft and brittle. The most common causes of this disease are lack of Vitamin D and less intake of calcium by children. In other words, malnutrition plays a major role in the damage of the bones.
Genetic conditions can also be another reason for this disease. Children are mainly affected but sometimes adults are also get affected and the condition is called osteomalacia. Along with weak bones, there is also stunted growth and skeletal deformities in the person.
The deficiency of Vitamin D causes rickets because of this, absorption of calcium from the intestine stops which leads to the deficiency of calcium in the body. Vitamin D is necessary for absorption of calcium and phosphates from the intestine. It is mainly produced in the body when a person is exposed to sunlight. Other sources of Vitamin D are fish, eggs, and milk. Insufficiency of Vitamin D causes low levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. This results in soft and disfigured bones.
These are the following symptoms of rickets:
Bone tenderness or bone pain, low level of calcium in the body and blood, Skull softness, knock knees, easy breaking of bones, widening up of wrists, bowed legs of small children, delay in the motor skills, weak muscles, pain in the pelvis, legs and spine, and problems with absorption in the body.
These are the several causes of rickets:
While diagnosing rickets doctors gently press the bones of the child to check if there is any abnormality. Tests like x-ray, blood tests and arterial blood gases test are used to determine the levels of calcium, phosphate and check for any skeletal abnormalities in the body. Every part of the child’s body will be paid attention to such as:
The most common medication for rickets is the intake of Vitamin D or taking calcium supplements. But both things need to be taken after the prescription of a doctor as too much intake of Vitamin D is dangerous. The condition of the child is first examined by x-ray and blood test. If the child has a low amount of phosphorus in the body or any rare inherited disorder, the medication is prescribed by the doctor according to the situation.
Normally, children are at a high risk of developing rickets since they are at a growing age. It is also because children do not get the proper amount of sunlight and do not follow a diet that is full of nutrition. Many risk factors have been identified for developing rickets. Rickets is 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 their skin prevents penetration of sunlight thereby avoiding the body from producing Vitamin D.
Recovering from rickets can take several months depending upon the severity of the disease. If bones of a person have deformities due to rickets, it can be healed within a certain time period and bowed legs also get back in shape without any surgery.
Rickets can be cured by doing necessary changes in the diet like taking Vitamin D whose deficiency is the main cause of rickets. But medicines should not be left in the middle of the treatment because it prevents the reoccurring of the conditions causing rickets.
The treatment of rickets in India starts from 2500 INR. This also depends upon the severity of the disease, thus the price keeps on increasing, according to the situation.
There are several ways in which you can prevent rickets: