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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, Mumbai
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.

2665 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.

9834 people found this helpful

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.

My Baby is 4 years of age having rickets evidence shown. What next steps taken. Would my baby do not walk properly in future?

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), F.I.A.M.S. (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Muzaffarnagar
Anyway, If it is nutritional rickets, give him supplement Calcium 500 to 600 mg daily n Vitamine D 600000 units once in a week for 5 weeks, whole body sun exposure for 1/2 to 1 hour besides good ca rich diet like milk n its product dal soya etc. Baby shall start walking. Please consult pediatrician too to ascertain reason. Still if you have any query, you may contact me through Lybrate.

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

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.