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What is osteomalacia?
Bone softening, most notably bone weakening (loss of mineral) in the sense of fracture and most notably calcium deficiency from the bone. Osteomalacia can be caused by poor dietary intake or poor absorption of calcium and other minerals needed to harden bones. Osteomalacia is a feature of vitamin D deficiency in adults. Osteomalacia is treated with dietary changes. Hormone supplements may also be helpful for post-menopausal women. When the same thing happens in children, it is called rickets.
Osteomalacia is more common in women and often occurs during pregnancy. It is not the same as osteoporosis. Both can cause bones to break. But osteomalacia is a problem of bone hardening, osteoporosis is bone weakening. In osteomalacia, most of the bone is made up of a collagen matrix without a mineral coating, so the bones become soft. These soft bones can bend and break and can be very painful. By these terms, it can be clarified that what is osteomalacia?
There are rare types of osteomalacia. These are usually caused by problems in the kidneys resulting in the loss of phosphorus from the body. It is sometimes passed on from inherited parents to their children in their genes, but can also occur as a side effect of treatment with other kidney problems and sometimes with some medications.
Causes of Osteomalacia:
The body needs sufficient minerals (calcium and phosphorus) and vitamin D to allow bone mineralization. However, it is not uncommon in Western countries to have sufficient calcium due to osteomalacia. Some rare disorders can cause the normal kidney to lose phosphorus, which causes osteomalacia, but the most common cause of the condition is vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency
The amount of vitamin D can be expressed as micrograms (millions of one gram, usually) abbreviated to g) or units. 10 units are the same as 400 units and therefore 25 µg is the same as 1,000 units. The body needs about 10 / g / 400 units of vitamin D a day to protect itself from osteomalacia. The skin can produce up to 100 / g / 4,000 units a day in summer, which can be stored in the body for a few weeks. A diet that provides an average of 10–20 / g / 400–800 units a day will help protect you from osteomalacia.
- If you do not go in the sun often, then you will need to eat oily fish or take a diet to get enough vitamin D.
- Rare causes of osteomalacia.
Although vitamin D deficiency is the most common cause of osteomalacia, your doctor will need to check if it is caused by anything else. Rare causes include:
- Stomach problems, for example, untreated celiac disease, or previous abdominal surgery
- Liver disease
- Kidney failure
- Epilepsy pills.
If any of the above applies to you, you may need additional protection against osteomalacia. It is important to talk to your doctor about this.
Treatment will cure osteomalacia in most cases, but it may take several months to reduce bone pain and muscle weakness. If the disease is caused by vitamin D deficiency, then 20–50 800g / 800–2,000 unit vitamin D supplements are used daily, but some doctors may give larger doses, to begin with. If the amount of calcium from your normal diet is less than 750 mg a day, then calcium dose 500–1,000 mg (mg) a day can accelerate bone healing.
You will usually need long-term vitamin D supplements. There is not a clear, curable reason for your osteomalacia. If you stop taking vitamin D, the condition may return. If osteomalacia comes from not getting enough vitamin D, then you can treat it by getting more in your diet through certain foods and supplements.
Foods with vitamin D include:
- Cottage cheese
- Fish (tuna, salmon, swordfish, sardines)
- Orange juice (fortified with vitamin D)
You can also get more vitamin D by spending time in the sun. But talk to your doctor about this and do apply sunscreen. Too much sun can increase your chances of skin cancer. If your body has trouble absorbing vitamin D, your doctor will need to treat the cause if possible. You will need to take larger doses of calcium and vitamin D than the usual daily recommendation. To treat broken or deformed bones from osteomalacia, your doctor may give you a brace to wear. If the problem is severe, you may need surgery.
People with inherited forms of kidney failure or osteomalacia often require lifelong assistance from their doctor. They will need to be regularly monitored in a hospital-based specialist unit. They usually require special forms of vitamin D, such as calcitriol tablets. This is because the kidneys normally convert ordinary vitamin D into calcitriol, a form of vitamin essential for bone mineralization.
What is osteomalacia? Bone softening, most notably bone weakening (loss of mineral) in the sense of fracture and most notably calcium deficiency from the bone. This can be caused by poor dietary intake or poor absorption of calcium and other minerals needed to harden bones.
There are rare types of osteomalacia. These are usually caused by problems in the kidneys resulting in the loss of phosphorus from the body. Although vitamin D deficiency is the most common cause of osteomalacia, your doctor will need to check if it is caused by anything else. They usually require special forms of vitamin D, such as calcitriol tablets. This is because the kidneys normally convert ordinary vitamin D into calcitriol, a form of vitamin essential for bone mineralization.