What Is Rickets? Why It Can Be Serious?
A medical problem can exist in any age group. Whether we talk about newborn babies or growing children, they can suffer from an illness that affects their quality of life. Here, the team of Mewar Hospital is going to discuss a major orthopedic problem found in children. We will mention some important things about rickets. It will not only help to boost knowledge but parents and guardians will also be aware of its causes and symptoms. So, if something goes wrong, they could tell the problems to the doctor and as a result, the child receives timely treatment.
What Is Rickets?
This bone-related disease is linked to children of growing age. Just like adults suffer from osteomalacia, rickets makes the bones soft and weaker. It mainly happens due to a lack of vitamin D which is essential for bone development. Rickets is mostly observed in children of 6 months to 3 years. In this condition, the chances of fracture get higher. Apart from vitamin D, a lack of calcium and phosphate can also uplift the possibilities of this illness. However, if a child gets proper and timely treatment, the condition can settle.
Now, let’s have a look at the causes behind rickets.
Know About The Causes of Rickets
1. Lack of Vitamin D
At a growing age, a lot of changes take place in a child. At that time, if parents bring attention to their health by delivering an adequate amount of nutrition, they can stay away from numerous worries. As we mentioned that lack of vitamin D is one of the major reasons behind rickets, it can be due to poor nutrition. Vitamin D plays an important role in several processes of our body. Calcium is stored in our bones and vitamin D has a role in that process. It is also essential in controlling the levels of calcium and phosphate in our bodies.
Now, if we talk about the sources that increase the level of this vitamin, sunlight comes into the top list. Else, you can find its presence in some other foods like citrus fruits, salmon fish, egg yolk, etc.
2. Other Reasons – Renal Rickets
Some other causes of rickets include problems in digesting milk. Children who only drink their mother’s milk can also suffer from this state. It is because it doesn’t contain appropriate levels of vitamin D. Sometimes, skin color can also interfere with this problem. Like, children from Africa or the Middle East have darker skins that don’t interact properly with sunlight as compared to the normal ones. This is because such kind of skin contains more of the pigment melanin. And it decreases the ability of the skin to produce this vitamin from sunlight. Apart from that, hereditary issues can also uplift the chances of rickets.
Symptoms To Observe In Rickets
You can detect the presence of rickets by the following symptoms.
- Lack of sleep
- Slow growth
- Swelling in joints, like wrist and ankle
- Dental problems like cavities, delay in the arrival of a tooth, and weak tooth enamel
- Muscle weakness
- Unusual growth of bone and feeling of pain
Here, you need to understand one important thing regarding rickets. If the body does not receive treatment for vitamin D and its ratio continues to be low, there can be problems with the feet. A gap between the ankles can arise and they may look unusual. If rickets is left untreated, the chances of suffering from a fracture will be there. Some children can suffer from heart-related problems as well. Some can experience breathing issues and when things turn out to be worse, they can suffer from pneumonia, disability, and permanent awkward changes in the bone. That’s why, it is essential to take care of your child right from an early age.
Diagnosis of Rickets
When a child experiences something wrong, parents get anxious about his well-being. One of the best ways to care for your child is to take him to an experienced doctor for better treatment when he is facing serious issues. A child of a very low age can’t explain what is going wrong with him. It is the parents and older ones of the family who can notice his behavior or other symptoms and find out that he is suffering from an issue. That’s why, don’t be too late especially when you notice the symptoms of rickets mentioned above. At the time of visit to the doctor, he can take a physical exam first. Some tests like blood or urine tests can be preferred. In rare cases, the doctor can take help from bone biopsy where a small piece of bone is taken out and sent for the detection of problems.
Treatment of Rickets
The treatment of rickets is possible in most scenarios especially when the problem is detected on time. The treatment mostly takes place according to the child’s condition.
- To fulfill the requirements of vitamin D, the doctor can prescribe some doses every day. Else, a calcium-rich diet can also turn out to be useful.
- If the levels of vitamin D are low due to a lack of calcium, he can guide some calcium-rich supplements for multiple months.
- Apart from these, one of the helpful treatment procedures for rickets is sunlight.
- In serious cases, there can be a need to perform surgery.
When a child receives treatment in an earlier stage, the skeletal deformities can get settle as time passes. Even it can go away completely. And when the treatment begins, there can be visible improvements under or after a week. However, some months can take place to completely recover from the problem of rickets.
Which Doctor Helps In The Treatment Of Rickets?
Every doctor or surgeon has a specialization in a particular field. In the same way, if we talk about the department of orthopedics, you can find out the presence of pediatric orthopedic doctors or surgeons. They are skilled professionals to detect and solve the musculoskeletal issues of children better than any other doctor. If your child is suffering from rickets, you can talk to one of our experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeons. You can take assistance to keep your child away from multiple problems. Even if there is some other kind of problem, you can contact our team to take the appointment.
How To Prevent Rickets?
We are mentioning some points that can help to prevent this problem.
- Parents should keep an eye on the growth and development of their children. They need to be attentive to their bone development right from an earlier stage. Giving them a proper diet, managing their nutritional levels in the food, and taking care of their calcium levels are beneficial to keep them away from several futuristic worries. To know about such things in detail, you can contact our doctors. They will assist you with various helpful information.
- In usual cases, things like dry fruits, beans, seeds, green leafy vegetables, or orange juice are helpful to bring positive changes. Fat-containing fish is also useful in these conditions. But make sure that all such things are given under a particular amount. An excessive amount of calcium and vitamin D is not beneficial for them.
- When the child comes to a learning stage, you can make attempts to let him involve in some kinds of exercises as per the doctor’s instruction. This includes walking, running, jumping, or climbing. Such things are good to make the bones stronger.
- Our body naturally produces vitamin D. Therefore, you can keep your children out in a place for a while where they take benefits of the sunlight. But make sure it should not too hot, otherwise, they can face skin-related problems. And yes, in the season of winters, people generally use to stay inside our houses. At that time, they don’t get enough sunlight. A total of 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight is good to prefer in midday. So, take the benefits of sunlight in the winter as well. But equally, you will have to keep one thing in mind. Too much exposure to the sun in some people can give rise to problems. That’s why, especially for children due to skin cancer concerns, it is recommended to wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.
- Watch for renal disease in children.
The Concluding Words
Rickets can turn out to be a serious illness especially when you aren’t aware of its symptoms or if you’re observing something wrong and ignoring it. That’s why, remember the aspects mentioned in the above segment. Taking care of your children, particularly from a growing age will benefit them and you will also get rid of numerous worries. Apart from these things, if you have any kind of queries linked to this issue or any other problem, please visit our centers. There, you’ll find the assistance of some finely experienced and skilled surgeons. To know more about us, you can get in touch with the team through the given resources.
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