Rickets is a condition affecting the bone development of children. Generally, it is softening and weakening of the bones that can lead to deformities.
The condition can trigger bone pain, deformities and poor growth of the skeleton such as spinal curvature, bowed legs and thickening of the wrists, ankles and knees. Children with the condition are likely to end up with fractures.
What are the causes?
Lack of vitamin D or calcium is the usual cause of rickets. It is important to note that vitamin D mainly comes from exposure to sunlight, but it is also present in certain foods such as eggs and oily fish. Vitamin D is vital for the development of healthy and strong bones among children.
In rare instances, children are born with the hereditary variant. It might manifest if another ailment disrupts with the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body.
Management of rickets
In most children, effective treatment of rickets involves a diet that includes foods with vitamin D and calcium or vitamin supplements.
Furthermore, if the child has issues with absorbing vitamins and minerals, the doctor suggests a higher dose of supplement or yearly vitamin D injection.
You can avoid rickets with a diet that contains vitamin D and calcium, exposure to sunlight and vitamin D supplements.
When to consult a doctor
See a doctor if a child has any signs of the condition. Generally, the doctor will conduct a physical exam to assess for any evident issues. The medical and family history, diet and any drugs being used are also necessary.
The doctor requests a blood test to measure the phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D levels to confirm a diagnosis, but an X-ray or even a bone density scan are also necessary.