Commonly known as Rickets in children, Osteomalacia is a medical condition that causes a softening of the bones. This is usually caused from a vitamin D deficiency, which can result in bones that break easily and can even become bowed. While Osteomalacia is similar to Osteoporosis, they are not identical conditions. Osteoporosis occurs when older bones begin to weaken; whereas, Osteomalacia occurs during the bone building process. This condition causes numerous painful and uncomfortable symptoms, including bone pain and muscle weakness. If left untreated, frequent broken and fractured bones can occur.
Causes of Osteomalacia
The causes of Osteomalacia are numerous. Insufficient exposure to sunlight can result in this condition because the body needs vitamin D to build strong, healthy bones, which is acquired through sunlight. Therefore, insufficient levels of vitamin D commonly cause Osteomalacia. Celiac disease, which a an autoimmune disorder, can result in Osteomalacia, as well as certain liver and kidney disorders. Certain medications and surgeries can also cause Osteomalacia.
Symptoms of Osteomalacia
Symptoms of Osteomalacia do not occur until the condition begins to progress. Common symptoms of Osteomalacia include a dull aching pain in the pelvis, legs, and lower spine. The muscles are also affected by this condition. Osteomalacia often causes a decrease in muscle tone, weakness, and a decrease in mobility.
Treatment for Osteomalacia
Complications of Osteomalacia can occur without proper treatment. Complications include an increased risk for broken bones, commonly the ribs, spine, and legs. To properly diagnose Osteomalacia for treatment, certain tests need to be conducted. Tests conducted to diagnose this condition include blood and urine tests, x-ray, and bone biopsy.
Treatment for Osteomalacia requires making diet and lifestyle changes to include adequate levels of vitamin D intake. Vitamin D can be acquire through sunlight, vitamins, injections, and with a healthy diet. Patients with Osteomalacia may be required to take calcium and phosphorus supplements as well to increase the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D and to build strong, healthy bones.
Preventing Osteomalacia is rather simple. In order to prevent this condition from occurring it is important to ensure the body receives adequate levels of vitamin D. This can be done by spending at least 15 minutes in the sun a couple of times per week. A healthy diet, which contains high levels of vitamin D, will prevent Osteomalacia from occurring. Vitamin D supplements can be taken as well to prevent this condition.
“Osteomalacia- Prevention” Mayoclinic.com
“Osteomalacia” Cleveland” Clinic.com