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What is Rickets?

Rickets is a skeletal disorder in children that causes the bones to become soft and weak leading to bone pain, poor growth and skeletal deformities. It occurs due to extreme and prolonged deficiency of Vitamin D in children. Due to this, body is unable to maintain proper calcium and phosphorous levels in the bones, resulting in rickets. It generally affects kids aged 6-36 months.

What causes Rickets?

The main causes of development of Rickets are:

  • Lack of Vitamin D
  • Certain diseases that make it unable for the body to absorb Vitamin D, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, kidney problems

The various risk factors of rickets include:

  • Dark skin
  • Deficiency of Vitamin D in pregnant woman causes rickets in her newborn
  • Premature birth
  • Medications
  • Exclusive breastfeed
What are the symptoms of Rickets?

The signs and symptoms of Rickets are:

  • Delayed growth
  • Pain in spine, pelvis and legs
  • Muscle cramps
  • Bone fractures
  • Teeth deformities – delay in tooth formation, abscesses, hole in enamel, a lot many cavities, irregular tooth structure
  • Skeletal deformities –bow legs, knock knees, thickened wrist and ankle, protruding breastbone
How can Rickets be treated?

The treatment for rickets include:

  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements
  • Braces for the correct positioning of bones as they grow (for bow legs or spinal deformities)
  • Surgery (for skeletal deformities)