Vitamins

Vitamin D Deficiency – Rickets

Vitamin D plays an important role in aiding bone formation and the absorption of phosphorous and calcium from the intestine. It is a fat-soluble vitamin. In infants and children, Vitamin D deficiency causes bone deformity, which is characteristic of rickets. While the term ‘rickets’ is limited to the condition due to deficiency in infants and children, it is known as ‘osteomalacia’ when it occurs in adults.

The reasons for deficiency range from malnutrition, not getting enough exposure to sunlight or failure of the intestine to fully absorb essential nutrients from the food. Earlier, people believed that sunlight was the only source of Vitamin D, until in the early 20th century, Ergosterol (vitamin D-2) found in fish liver oil was discovered began to be consumed.

Symptoms

Bone pain
Muscle weakness
Fracture
restlessness and slow grow growth
Visible swelling of bones, particularly at the joints
Craniotabes, commonly found in premature babies
Thickening of skull if rickets develops at a later stage
Severe fever or infection which leads to catabolic discharge of phosphate from the cells.
In children above 2 years of age, softening of vertebral softening may lead to kyphoscoliosis.

Treatment

The only successful treatment is the intake of Vitamin D rich foods as part od the daily diet, along with supplements like Calcichew D3 or Adcal D3. Excessive avoidance of the sun is another major factor contributing to deficiency. Therefore, new moms must make sure that their babies get the required sunshine to allow vitamin D in their bodies. Calciferol is mostly used to treat those with deficiency owing to intestinal problems.

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