Rickets is a health condition caused mostly in children. It is a disease in which the bones are softened because of impaired metabolism or deficiency of Vitamin D, phosphorous, calcium or magnesium. As a result, it leads to deformity and fractures. In a lot of developing countries, this is one of the most frequent diseases of children. Rickets can also occur in adults, but primarily it is the condition of children who suffer from malnutrition due to starvation or famine.
Causes of Rickets
The main cause of rickets is deficiency of Vitamin D. This nutrient is required for calcium absorption. The main source of Vitamin D can be sunlight, especially the ultraviolet light. Because of the lack of Vitamin D, calcium is not absorbed in the body properly which in turn leads to dental deformities, skeletal deformities or neuromuscular symptoms. Therefore, children at a young age should be given a diet rich of butter, fish liver oil, eggs, juice, fortified milk as well as margarine.
The major cause of lack of vitamin D can be malnutrition. Therefore it is always advisable that pregnant women should have good intake of nutrients. Also, the children at a young age and the infants should be fed properly to avoid the condition of rickets.
Symptoms of Rickets
- Certain symptoms of rickets include:
- Bone tenderness or pain
- Dental problems
- Muscle weakness
- Increase in tendency of fractures
- Skeletal deformities
- Growth disturbance
- Uncontrollable spasms of muscle in the entire body
- Decrease in the level of calcium in blood
- Soft skull
- Wrist widening
The X-rays that represent classic rickets show legs in the form of a bow as well as deformed chest. Changes in skull re also visible and most often it leads to square shaped head. If left untreated, rickets can also persist in the adult life. Most commonly bow legs condition appears first in the disease, followed by deformity in the neck and skull as well.
Treatment and Prevention of Rickets
The treatment as well as prevention of this disease is called antirachitic. Because rickets is mostly caused because of the deficiency of Vitamin D, therefore, in order to treat and prevent this ailment, there is more use of this vitamin. In certain extreme cases, where the disease has led to deformities, surgery might also be required.
Rickets is a majorly increasing children’s disease in the developing countries.