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OSTEOMALACIA

WHAT IS OSTEOMALACIA?


It is a condition in which there are softening of bones because of deficiency of vitamin D and thereby of calcium too. As a result, the bones get weak and can get fractured easily. Because of deficiency of vitamin D and calcium, there is decreased mineralisation of bones leading to its breakdown faster than it can remodel.This condition is only seen in adults. Its counterpart in children is called rickets.


RISK FACTORS


Common risk factors includes: People with

Lack of proper sun exposure

Malabsorptive diseases

Postmenopausal women


COMPLICATIONS


If left untreated, it can cause easy fractures and severe deformity in adults. 

Symptoms can return if not enough vitamin D is available or you stop taking supplements in the middle of treatment. 


SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES


SYMPTOMS


The most common symptom is bones that fracture easily.

Muscle weakness

Bone pain especially of - lower back, pelvis, legs and ribs.

Because of calcium deficiency-

  • Numbness around mouth 
  • Numbness of hands and feet
  • Spasm of muscles of arms and legs

Patients can also have difficulty in walking and may develop a waddling gait.


CAUSES


Osteomalacia develops most commonly due to vitamin D deficiency, calcium and phosphate.

It can either happen due to dietary deficiency, inadequate sun absorption or


DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT


DIAGNOSIS


People with osteomalacia may have-

  • low levels of vitamin D
  • low levels of calcium
  • High levels of parathyroid hormone

X-rays and other imaging techniques to see small cracks in bones that can easily turn into fractures with easy falls. 

Bone mineral density is done to see if there is any evidence of osteomalacia.


TREATMENT


Vitamin D and calcium supplements are given either in tablet or intravenous form to treat the deficiency and hence its symptoms.


MANAGEMENT


  • Adequate exposure to the sun.
  • Include food items that are rich in calcium to your diet.
  • Treat any other underlying disease. 
  • Take supplements id needed under your doctor’s advice.  

DO’S AND DON'TS


DO’S


  • Adequate exposure to the sun.
  • Include food items that are rich in calcium to your diet.
  • Treat any other underlying disease. 
  • Take supplements id needed under your doctor’s advice.  

DON'TS


  • Be careful while walking or any other physical exercise to avoid getting unnecessary fractures. 
  • Dont shy away from sun



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