What is rickets?
Calcium and phosphates are very important for the growth of healthy bones. Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines. Lack of vit D in the body can cause low absorption of these nutrients, and make it difficult to maintain the normal levels of calcium and phosphate. Lack of these nutrients result into soft bones, stunted growth, and in severe cases may lead to skeletal deformities. Skeletal disorder that are caused due to deficiency of vit D, calcium and phosphate is known as rickets.
Deficiency of vit D causes body to produce some hormones that causes calcium and phosphate to be released from the bones. Children can get vit D from various kinds of food, including milk, eggs and fish. Vit D is also synthesised by the body, when it is exposed to sunlight.
Growing children between the ages of 6 and 36 months are more at risk of developing this disease. Children who are not exposed to enough sunlight, are vegetarians or do not take enough milk products during the early phase of their life remain at risk of developing vit D deficiency. Sometimes this condition is hereditary and passed on to children in generations.
Homeopathic medications can prove very beneficial in the cases of rickets. They help in strengthening the bones, and the individualised homeopathic medicine prescribed by the best homeopathy doctor can help in absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines.
Some of the causes that may lead to rickets are-
- Sunlight causes vit D production in the skin, when it’s exposed to it. Children now a days do not play many outdoor games, which reduces their exposure to enough sunlight needed for vit D production. Moreover, if they do go out in sun, they mostly wear some sunscreen which do not allow the sun waves to penetrate inside the skin
- Less consumption of vit D enriched foods like fish oil, egg yolks, milk, cereals, etc
- There are some congenital or acquired medical conditions also that may affect the absorption of vit D like-
- Coeliac disease
- Kidney diseases
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cystic fibrosis
Symptoms of rickets may include-
- Stunted growth and short stature
- Frequent bone fractures
- Pain and tenderness in the bones of arms, legs, pelvis and spine
- Muscle cramps
- Teeth problems like abnormal tooth structure, holes in the enamel, cavities, delayed dentition, abscess
- Skeletal deformities like curving of spine, bumps in the rib cage, bowing of the legs, deformed skull bone, protruding breast bone, pelvic deformities
Factors that may increase the risk of developing rickets in children are-
- People having dark skin have less capability of producing vit D from sunlight, due to higher concentration of melanin
- Children born to a mother who is severely deficient in vit D usually develop rickets soon after a few months after delivery
- Children living in the regions which receive less sunlight are more at risk of developing rickets
- Premature babies are more prone to develop vit D deficiency as they get to receive less amount of vit D from their mothers.
- Certain medications like anti- seizure drugs and antiretroviral medications interfere with the absorption of vit D
- Babies who continue their diet exclusively on breast milk for longer duration than needed, are more at risk of developing rickets, because breast milk is very poor in vitD
Doctor will do thorough physical examination to look for the deformities in the bone. Doctor will particularly look for late closure of fontanelles and soft skull. Doctor may find excessive bowing of the legs, though little bowing is common in toddlers, exaggerated bowing is the symptom of rickets. Some children may develop flattening of the rib cage, causing breast bone to protrude out. Children having rickets, usually show larger or thicker wrists and ankles.
Rickets can be treated completely if it is diagnosed early and no permanent deformity has been done. Homeopathy can be very effective in treating the underlying causes that may be responsible for causing rickets. Best homeopathy doctor gives the individualised homeopathic medicine prescribed on the symptom totality of the patient which facilitates absorption of calcium and phosphate in the bones, and reduce the possible damage that deficiency of vit D can cause to the bones.