ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding Osteomalacia and Managing It Successfully

Updated on July 21, 2017

Osteomalacia is a disorder where the bones become soft and weak, typically caused due to a severe vitamin D deficiency.

Softening of Bones in Osteomalacia

How Does Osteomalacia Present Itself?

  • Fracturing of bones is the commonest symptom, especially in adults and old individuals.
  • Children show a characteristic bowing of the legs.
  • Another important symptom is muscle weakness. Impairment at the site where the muscle attaches to the bone is the cause for muscular weakness. Consequently, walking is difficult and you will develop a waddling gait.
  • Pain in the bones, mainly in the hips, is rather common too. the pain is dull and aching pain and radiates from the hips to the pelvis, legs, and ribs.

Etiological Factors for Osteomalacia

Osteomalacia occurs due to an insufficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a very vital nutrient which facilitates the absorption of calcium in the gut.

The vitamin also maintains adequate levels of calcium and phosphate for normal bone formation. Vitamin D is manufactured in the skin from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It is absorbed from foods such as dairy products and fish.

If you have low levels of vitamin D in your body, then it fails to process the calcium that your bones require for normal growth and strength. Vitamin D deficiency results due to a poor diet which is lacking in this vital element, no sun exposure, or a disorder in the GI tract.

If you have had a surgery to excise segments of the stomach or small intestine, you will have trouble absorbing vitamin D as well as breaking the food down to release it.

Conditions which impact D3 levels in your body:

  • Celiac disease can impair the mucus membrane of the GI tract and consequently hamper the absorption of vitamin D.
  • Liver and kidney disorders affect the metabolism of D3.
  • A diet deficient in phosphates triggers phosphate reduction, and this leads to osteomalacia.
  • Anti-seizure medications - phenytoin and phenobarbital are known to cause osteomalacia.
  • Malignancies get in the way of vitamin D processing.

Osteomalacia during Pregnancy

When pregnant, your caloric requirements increase. During the 1st trimester, you require an extra 150 calories daily to support fetal development. Alongside, the requirement for other vital nutrients increases too, and your OB/GYN will advocate taking a vitamin supplement everyday. Ensure that your diet is rich in folic acid, iron calcium, protein, vitamin B12 and vitamin D to avoid deficiencies.

Osteomalacia Radiology and Investigations

  • X-rays: Cracks are seen in the bones which are characteristic of osteomalacia.
  • Blood and urine tests: Help assess levels of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Bone biopsy: A needle is inserted through the skin, into your pelvic bone to excise a tiny piece of bone. Bone biopsy is an accurate way of detecting osteomalacia, on the other hand, it is seldom needed to make the diagnosis.

Supplementation

Osteomalacia Natural Treatment

  • Your health care provider will prescribe oral vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate supplements.
  • In some cases, you may be given vitamin D intravenously.
  • You need spend some time outdoors in sunlight so that your body can make adequate amounts of vitamin D within the skin.
  • In case of underlying conditions which affect vitamin D metabolism, they must be managed. Liver cirrhosis and kidney failure need to be treated.
  • You may also be prescribed calcium and / or phosphorus supplements.

Soak up the Early Morning Sun

Osteomalacia Diet

Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Consuming foods rich in vitamin D can supply you with all the vitamin D you need to support strong bones. Good dietary sources are – salmon, eggs, cod liver oil, mackerel, tuna, and yogurt. Certain foods are also fortified with vitamin D – milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals.


Foods Rich in Calcium
99 % of calcium in the body is present in the bones and calcium in conjunction with vitamin D and phosphorous is necessary to prevent and manage osteomalacia. Foods rich in calcium are - milk, yogurt and cheese and green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach


Foods Rich in Phosphorous
Good dietary sources of phosphorous are – milk, yogurt and cheese, eggs, salmon, beef, chicken and turkey.

Step Up Your Intake of Milk, Eggs and Salmon

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      12 months ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks for sharing a nice article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)