Osteomalacia Causes and Treatment

Osteomalacia is now rare in westernized countries but still common in many third-world countries. It is the adult form of rickets in children. Both diseases are caused by a lack of calcium and the resultant softening of the bones. In adults, the most common cause is a disease of the parathyroid gland in the neck, which controls the calcium balance of the body. If this gland is overactive, calcium is drawn out of the bones and osteomalacia results. Other causes of osteomalacia include a deficiency in vitamin D or phosphate (both are essential to control calcium activity within the body), kidney failure, alcoholism, poisons and a number of rarer diseases.

The symptoms may be very mild, and the disease is detected by a routine blood test or X-ray; or the patient may have muscle weakness, tiredness, and bone pain. Fractures are only slightly more common than would normally be expected. Blood tests, X-rays and bone biopsy are used to confirm the diagnosis.

The treatment involves correcting the cause. This may involve improving the diet, prescribing vitamin D, and giving calcium supplements.

More by this Author

  • Pneumonia Causes and Treatment

    The lung is much like a sponge. It is light, fluffy and full of air. Now imagine dipping that sponge into a jar of honey. It will come out clogged up, heavy and sticky. Now when someone develops pneumonia, the section...

  • Wart Causes and Treatment

    A dense mat of spider webs, held onto the skin by a piece of paper fastened with string. Compresses of castor oil. The milk squeezed from the leaf of a wild lettuce. These are some of the treatments that were in use...

  • Appendicitis Symptoms and Treatment

    Appendicitis is the inflammation of the vermiform appendix, a small pencil-like structure connected with the cecum, the first part of the large intestine. Appendicitis is caused by an obstruction and infection in the...


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Please Note:

    • The information provided on this page is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a registered physician or other healthcare professional.

    • The content of this page is intended only to provide a summary and general overview. Do not use this information to disregard medical advice, nor to delay seeking medical advice.

    • Be sure to consult with your doctor for a professional diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment.

    Click to Rate This Article