Getting to Know Osteomalacia, Soft Bone Disease Caused by Vitamin Deficiency
Beware that the body's lack of vitamins and calcium can have an impact on osteomalacia conditions.
Often equated with osteoporosis, in fact, these are 2 different conditions. The body generally needs calcium for overall bone function. If this is not well owned, the bone may become soft or porous over time.
Definition of Osteomalacia
Osteomalacia is the most common softening of bones due to vitamin D deficiency in the body.
Vitamin D is useful for the body in absorbing calcium. When vitamin D is sufficient, calcium works by maintaining bone strength and hardness.
Citing Medline Plus, in children, this is referred to as rickets or a growing bone disorder.
This condition is not the same as osteoporosis or known as bone loss.
The difference between osteoporosis and osteomalacia is that osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in the strength of normal bone mass, while osteomalacia is a disease that makes bones easily brittle and soft.
In addition to children, this is also often found in adults with vitamin D deficiency.
In the United States, cases of osteomalacia are rare and depend on their location.
People living in cold climates, especially people with darker skin, are more at risk of developing soft bone disease.
Symptoms of Osteomalacia Disease
There are several symptoms of osteomalacia that are often found. Launching the Cleveland Clinic, the most common is that bones break easily.
This happens due to a problem in the area where the muscles are attached to the bones.
Here are other symptoms of the soft bone disease that are often experienced by many people, including:
- Bone pain in the hip
- Pain in the lower back
- Sore feet
- Aches in ribs
If the sufferer also has very low levels of calcium in the blood, they may also experience:
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Numbness around the mouth
- Numbness in the arms and legs
- Seizures in the hands and feet
A person with the soft bone disease may have difficulty walking or it may be a swaying gait.
The symptoms will get worse if they are not treated quickly and carry out doctor's treatment.
Causes of Osteomalacia
Vitamin D or calcium deficiency is the most common cause of osteomalacia.
Vitamin D mostly comes from sun exposure to the skin but is also found in some foods, such as oily fish and eggs.
The usefulness of vitamin D is essential for the formation of strong and healthy bones.
In rare cases, children can be born with a genetic form of rickets.
It can also develop if other conditions affect how vitamins and minerals are absorbed by the body.
National Health Services said that this condition had disappeared in the early 20th century due to the high food supply of vitamin D.
However, in recent years, there has been an increase in cases of osteomalacia in some countries.
The cause of this soft bone disease can also come from a lack of sun exposure. People with dark skin are also more at risk of developing soft bone disease.
How to Diagnose Osteomalacia
Generally, diagnosing osteomalacia is to perform a blood test on a patient who experiences symptoms.
If it shows any of the following, it may suffer from soft bone disease or other bone disorders:
- Low vitamin D levels
- Low calcium levels
- Low phosphorus content
In addition, there are other measures that are also taken such as testing the alkaline isoenzyme phosphatase. These are high levels in the blood to indicate soft bone disease.
Another blood test is needed able to check the levels of parathyroid hormone in the body.
High levels of this hormone indicate a lack of vitamin D and other related problems.
In addition, an X-ray is also required to notice the presence of small cracks in the infected bones.
A bone biopsy is needed in some cases by inserting a needle through the skin and muscle into the bone to obtain a small sample.
Later, the sample will be further researched in the laboratory to be able to determine the right treatment.
Soft bone disorders can be cured with adequately met treatment and health supplements.
Some of the efforts made to overcome soft bone disease are as follows:
1. Meet Your Vitamin D Needs
How to overcome soft bone disease can be started by meeting the need for vitamin D in the body.
This is the first step taken if the soft bone disease is caused by low nutrient intake and postoperatively.
In rare cases, sufferers can take vitamin D through skin injections or by infusion through blood vessels in the arm.
The dosage of vitamin D for adults and children is certainly different. Therefore, ensure the consumption of the right dosage and not in excess.
Some people also need other treatments to treat osteomalacia.
Basking in the sun can help you recover faster.
No need to linger, sunbathing is enough for 30 minutes in the morning when the sun is not too hot.
The sunlight that redeems the skin can help the formation of vitamin D easily in the body.
That's a series of important facts about osteomalacia or soft bone disease. Make sure the vitamin D in the body is fulfilled!