Osteomalacia is a softening of the bones due to the lack of vitamin D. In children, this deficiency is known as rickets.
In order to have strong and healthy bones, it is important to have an adequate amount of calcium and phosphorous in our diet. However, calcium and phosphorous cannot be absorbed by our bodies without the proper intake of vitamin D. If we are deprived of these vitamins, we are vulnerable to fractures and distortions of the bones.
A good source for these vitamins are milk, butter, eggs, fish liver oils, and cheeses, and sufficient exposure to the sun, which adds vitamin D in the body.
It is interesting to note, that until very recently, doctors and other health specialists would tell their patients to avoid taking too much vitamin D because it can cause health problems. At the present, this diagnosis has changed, and several people have indicated that their doctors tell them to make certain they have enough vitamin D.
Although it is important to avoid getting too much sun because it can cause skin cancer, a certain amount of sun is good because it helps those who do not have enough vitamin D from their foods. There are a few people whom I know, who not only try to stay out of the sun, but they also apply sun screen lotion so that the sun’s rays won’t penetrate through their skin. One such person was told by his doctor that tests have shown that he is very low in vitamin D, and that it is probably due to the fact that he constantly is using sun screen lotion. Surprising to this young man, he was told to not apply this lotion any more.
There are people who take a sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D but have osteomalacia. This can be due to the fact that their bodies are unable to absorb these vitamins. People who are mostly affected by this disease besides having an inadequate diet, are people who rarely go outdoors.
Now this can be a huge deficiency as staying at home would give you an isolated feeling but if you already are low on diet then it won’t be long before you get a protruding paunche and there would be less immune support for your body.
Osteomalacia causes pain in the bones, especially bones that are in the neck, legs, hips, and ribs. There can be muscle weakness, and if the blood level of calcium is very low, there can be muscle spasm in the hands, feet, and throat. If the bones become very weak, they can break after a minor injury.
Osteomalacia is diagnosed by taking blood tests, urine tests, and bone x-rays. Treatment consists of a diet that is rich in vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin supplements. If tablets cannot be absorbed, injections may be necessary.