Encyclopedia

Rickets

What is rickets?

Rickets is a generalized bone disease that impairs bone growth and development in infants and children.

Children’s bones fail to absorb the minerals they need for growth. This can result in easier bone fragility and weakness.

Children grow tall and gain weight very quickly, and therefore their fragile and weak bones can easily become deformed and crooked.

What are the symptoms of rickets?

  • Deformation of the cranial bones or delayed closure of the fontanelles in infants, which should be completed by the age of 2 at the latest;
  • Retardation of intellectual development;
  • Protrusion of the abdomen and formation of a pot belly;
  • < li>Slow growth in height – children may be shorter than the usual height for their age.

  • Scoliosis – spinal curvature;
  • Lack of limbs and body due to muscle weakness;
  • Baby teeth take longer than usual to grow.
  • Weak tooth enamel, which can quickly lead to tooth decay;
  • Bone pain – especially in the arms, legs, spine and pelvis, although this is rare;
  • Fractures even from a slight blow or fall.

Children with severe rickets can have low calcium levels. And this condition can lead to muscle spasms.

Children with rickets may also have other symptoms such as:

  • Swollen or enlarged ankles, wrists or knees – with the knees turned inward;
  • Feet may be curved outwards or inwards. As in the first case in a standing position, the child’s legs resemble the letter “O”, and in the second case the curvature may resemble the letter “X”.
  • Prominent sternum;
  • strong>

  • Ribs also protrude;
  • Forehead protrudes forward;
  • Deformities on the back – most often slouching;
  • Pelvic distortions;

If you notice that your child exhibits some of the these symptoms or has suffered any bone deformities, you should consult your doctor.

What are the causes?

Rickets is usually caused by a lack or rather a deficiency of vitamin D and/or calcium.

Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. The vitamin is also contained in some foods such as oily fish.

Children can produce enough vitamin D in the summer by spending frequent, but brief, sun exposure without sunscreen.

The exact amount of time it takes is different for everyone, but it usually only takes a few minutes during the day.

However, do not overdo it and do not let your child’s skin burn from the strong sun.

If your child is not getting enough sun exposure especially during the winter months and is between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, you need to make sure your child is getting enough.

The optimal daily dose, which is produced by the body with sufficient exposure to the sun, is about 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

However, calcium is not produced by the body, so your child must consume food sources of calcium such as dairy products. Optimal intake of vitamin D and calcium is essential for bone health and strength.

Treatment of rickets

Treatment of rickets involves two main methods: dietary supplementation with vitamin D and calcium and injection of vitamin D. These two approaches are available and it is important to choose and administer under medical control.

Giving children the correct doses is critical, as excessive amounts of vitamin D can cause intoxication and hypercalcemia.

The first method of treating rickets involves the daily intake of nutritional supplements that contain vitamin D and calcium.

These supplements are prescribed by a doctor and must be given to the child exactly according to the recommendations. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium in bones and teeth and is necessary for their healthy development.

An alternative way to treat rickets is to inject vitamin D once a year.

This method may be chosen in some patients and has its advantages. Single injections may be more convenient for families and provide greater compliance with therapy.

However, the dose must be correctly determined by the medical specialist to avoid intoxication.

The importance of correct dosage in the treatment of rickets cannot be underestimated. Doses of vitamin D and calcium should be prescribed by the child’s GP after careful assessment of the patient’s condition.

Excessive consumption of vitamin D can lead to serious problems, including excess calcium levels in the body, which is called hypercalcemia.

The medical team, including the doctor and the child’s specialist, must be informed about all aspects of the treatment and monitor the child’s progress carefully.

They can adjust the doses of vitamin D and calcium if necessary to ensure optimal healing of the child’s bones and teeth.

It is also important for parents to provide a healthy diet and lifestyle for their children. This includes exposure to the sun, which is a natural source of vitamin D, as well as including calcium in the diet. Dairy products, vegetables and other calcium-rich foods can help with healing.

In conclusion, rickets is a serious disease, but with cooperation between parents and the medical team, the right dosage of vitamin D and calcium, and a healthy lifestyle, children have the opportunity to heal and develop normally.

Looking after their health and well-being is critical, and this requires responsibility and commitment from all involved.

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