Causes of Osteomalacia and Vitamin D

If you are deficient of this nutrient the consequences can be devastating

The causes of osteomalacia and vitamin D are very closely related for one reason; it is a deficiency of this vitamin that triggers this disorder in the vast majority of cases.

Although there can be a few other situations that can cause it, in most all cases it is a deficiency of this vitamin.

WHAT EXACTLY IS IT ?

If fully understanding exactly how the potential causes and vitamin D are related, it is very helpful to understand exactly what it is, the symptoms, as well as the most efficient ways to treat it.

This condition is a situation where there is a softening of your bones that is most cases is a result of a vitamin D deficiency and it is perhaps recognized by a much more common name: rickets.

This name for the general condition is somewhat misleading however, as rickets is the name given to it when it occurs in children.

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When it occurs in adults, it is referred to as Osteomalacia.

When your bones are soft, they are much more likely to bow and twist, and as a result of this, fracture very easily as compared to bones that are very hard when they are fully nourished.

There is one other major misconception about the bone disorder; it is very often confused with osteoporosis. Although it is similar, it is really quite different in nature.

Osteomalacia is the result of a series of defects in the actual bone building process.

While osteoporosis is a condition that develops over time as the result of weakening in the bones that have already been built or constructed.

THE SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR

The symptoms of Osteomalacia are extremely important with this bone disorder, as the sooner you can identify and treat them, the better chances you have at fully recovering.

However, this can be quite challenging in some cases, as in the very early stages you may have none of the symptoms, making it almost impossible to identify.

But as the disorder starts to intensify, you will begin to experience the two classic symptoms; an aching bone pain as well as muscle weakness.

Bone pain is very hard to describe, but when it does develop, you will definitely know that you have it.

The reason for this is simple; it will be quite similar to some of the growing pains that you experienced as you were developing as a child.

However, if it is rickets and occurs in a child, it can very easily be ignored as growing pains.

For this reason, if your child does start to complain about this, it should not be overlooked and should be taken very seriously.

Osteomalacia and vitamin D deficiency will affect three major areas in your body; your lower back or spine, your pelvic area, as well as your legs.

It can also affect your arms in some cases, but in a slightly different way than it affects your legs. Understanding this difference may be one of the key areas that will help you identify this disorder.

When your lower back or spine is affected, as well as your pelvic area and legs, you will feel dull aching pains in these areas.

When your arms are affected, they will become very weak and may not include this aching pain, as it is the result of your muscles becoming weak and losing their muscle tone.

This can also occur in your legs, but generally only after the dull aching pains have developed for a period of time.

Other symptoms will include a gradual and reduced inability to move like you used to, as well as a limping type of action that is best described as a gait or waddle.

THE CAUSES OF OSTEOMALACIA

While a deficiency  of vitamin D is by far and away the most common of the causes of osteomalacia, there are some other conditions that may also be the underlying cause.

There are two minerals that are also extremely important in maintaining solid and strong bones; calcium and phosphate.

If your body is not receiving these nutrients for some reason and is receiving enough vitamin D, this deficiency may also be one of the causes of osteomalacia.

Sunlight or ultraviolet rays naturally stimulate vitamin D in your skin, and once this occurs, it is fully powered to process the calcium in your body to strengthen your bones.

However, this is where another misconception comes into play with this disorder, as in some cases you may be receiving adequate supplies of sunlight, but it is not being absorbed by your skin.

The reason for this may be quite simple; sunscreen. In the last ten years, because of the damages that sunlight can do to your skin and possibly cause skin cancer, sunscreens have become very powerful.

They have become extremely effective at what they were designed to do.

However in doing so, they may prevent adequate amounts of these ultraviolet rays penetrating your skin to active the vitamin D, which in turn, processes calcium.

If you spend little time outside or live in a climate where there is very little sunlight, it will have the same effects.

However, while this is a leading cause, it is still a distant second to an inadequate dietary intake.

There are also certain types of surgeries that may trigger this disorder, especially removing part or all of your stomach, and may also be on of the underlying causes of osteomalacia.

Your stomach is the key organ in your body in breaking down foods and releasing their nutrients, where they are then absorbed by your small intestines and transferred to your blood supply.

It is because of this process, that any type surgery on your small intestine can also very easily disrupt this process.

Celiac disease may also be one of the the underlying causes of osteomalacia., as it damages your small intestine by foods that contain gluten.

Kidney and liver disorders can also block this process and easily interfere with the processing of vitamin D into your system.

Osteomalacia and Vitamin D deficiency can cause devastating results for several reasons; not only does it potentially cause this disease, it is also believed to make osteoporosis worse, which can lead to bone fractures.

However, if not treated, it can also cause several dental issues including losing all of your teeth at some point in mid-life or sooner. 

It not only helps to place calcium and phosphorus in the correct places in your body, it also helps the re-mineralization process of them.

Your bones are constantly in the state of breaking down and rebuilding, and if your vitamin D supply is inadequate, this process either slows down or worse yet, basically stops.

Summary

The causes of osteomalacia and Vitamin D deficiency, unlike several disorders, are linked very closely together.

In most all cases, supplementing this disorder with this nutrient in liquid form for several months can easily correct it.

If it is considered to be quite severe, it may have to be given as an injection directly into your veins, but this is quite rare.


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