16 Jul Nutritional Rickets, A Deadly Bone disease Caused by Vitamin-D Deficiency
Nutritional Rickets 101. Vitamin insufficiency is becoming one of the contributing factors of death all over the world. It occurs when the body lacks the vitamins it needs to function properly and vigorously. When one is lacking vitamins, their body could suffer from both internal and external damages, causing vitamin deficiency illnesses.
For decades, up until today, scientists and dietitians have been uncovering new diseases periodically caused by vitamin deficiency. For instance, anaemia, beriberi and other conditions. Nutritional rickets is one of the most common and well-known vitamin deficiency disorders. Nutritional rickets remains the most common form of developing bone disease despite attempts done by health care workers to diminish the disease’s prevalence.
Introduction to Nutritional Rickets
Nutritional rickets (NR) or Calcipenic Rickets is a skeletal disorder caused by a severe and sustained vitamin D deficiency. It usually happens in people of a younger age and can lead to bone soreness, stunted growth, and soft, brittle bones. In the worst case, it can lead to permanent deformities that will hinder patients to perform daily activities normally. In adults, this disease is called osteomalacia.
The role of vitamin D in the body is to help the body absorbs minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. When the body is not acquiring enough vitamin D, the amount absorbed decreases significantly, resulting in improper bone formation.
Common symptoms of Calcipenic rickets include the following:
- Tenderness or discomfort in the bones
- Muscle weakness
- Dental problems
- Fragile bones
- Skeletal deformities
- and more.
If the condition prolongs without any care, lifelong disability and cardiac problems might follow the symptoms. Thus, parents should take their kids to get professional care as soon as these symptoms built up. Nutritionists usually take patients to a laboratory blood test, X-ray scan and other necessary procedures for a clearer diagnosis. If the condition is confirmed, patients are referred to a therapy session and prescribe cholecalciferol, generally known as vitamin D3.
How to Prevent Vitamin-D Deficiency
Although the case of nutritional rickets keeps on increasing, there is no need to worry. Simple precautions can be taken to avoid contracting this condition at any age. Here are 3 methods to prevent Vitamin-D Deficiency and Rickets:
1. Consume Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Natural always comes first. It is acknowledgeable that for the body to function properly, it needs an adequate intake of nutrients. To help in supplying vitamin D, make sure to always consume foods that are rich in vitamin D. For instance, salmon, beef liver, eggs and cheese. Only if these products are unavailable, opt for fortified foods.
For nutritional rickets patients, further boost can be implemented by taking in cod liver oil capsules or emulsions.
2. Spend Time Under The Sun
Vitamin D is known to be called the sunshine vitamin. The name, of course, comes with a valid reason. When one’s body is exposed to sunlight, UVB radiation from the sun transforms a molecule in the skin into vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is subsequently transformed into active vitamin D in the liver. The length of time that it takes for vitamin D to form varies from one person to the other. Ideally, on a daily basis, spend 10-20 minutes under the sun during midday.
3. Take in Vitamin D Supplements
For each day, the AAP recommends 10 mcg (400 IU) of Vitamin D. It is always good to make sure that one gets enough vitamin D through the consumption of supplements.
By performing these three steps above as a daily routine, the risk of vitamin D deficiency will be reduced.