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RICKETS

Rickets is defective mineralization or calcification of bones before epiphyseal closure resulting in softening and weakening of bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency.

Symptoms

  1. Irritable child with flabby muscle.
  2. Delayed development with late eruption of teeth.
  3. Failure to sit, crawl, stand, and walk at the normal ages.
  4. Thin and deformed skull with egg-shell cracking feeling.
  5. Potts Belly due to weakness of abdominal muscles.
  6. Knock Knee or Bow leg.
  7. Pigeon Chest.
     

Causes

 Vitamin D deficiency due to

  1. Insufficient production of vitamin D in the body due to use of strong sunblock, too much "covering up" in sunlight, or not getting out into the sun which cause sun's ultraviolet light to not reach the skin. 
  2. Children who don't eat enough vitamin D containing food like butter, eggs, fish liver oils, and fortified milk can develop a vitamin D deficiency.
  3. Some diseases which impair Vitamin D absorption like Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Cystic fibrosis, and Kidney problems can also cause Rickets.

Diagnosis

  1. X-rays of the affected bones can reveal bone deformities.
  2. Increase Alkaline Phosphatase.
  3. Low Phosphorous.

Preventions

  1. Exposure to sunlight.
  2. Eating foods that contain vitamin D naturally — fatty fish, fish oil, milk and egg yolks.

 

Complications

If left untreated, rickets may lead to:

  • Failure to grow
  • Abnormally curved spine
  • Skeletal deformities
  • Dental defects
  • Seizures

Treatment

  1. Vitamin D 1000-2000 I.U orally daily for 6-12 weeks followed by daily supplement of 400 I.U of vitamin D.
  2. Diet rich in Vitamin D and Calcium e.g milk, liver oil, fish, egg.
  3. Exposure to sunlight.