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    Rickets and osteomalacia

    Rickets usually occurs because of a lack of vitamin D or calcium, although it can also be caused by a genetic defect or another health condition.



    Rickets and osteomalacia

    Rickets usually occurs because of a lack of vitamin D or calcium, although it can also be caused by a genetic defect or another health condition.

    Lack of vitamin D and calcium

    The most common cause of rickets is a lack of vitamin D or calcium in a child's diet. Both are essential for children to develop strong and healthy bones.

    Sources of vitamin D are:

    sunlight – your skin produces vitamin D when it's exposed to the sun, and we get most of our vitamin D this wayfood – vitamin D is also found in some foods, such as oily fish, eggs and fortified breakfast cerealsdietary supplements

    Calcium is commonly found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, and green vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage.

    Over time, a vitamin D or calcium deficiency will cause rickets in children and soft bones (osteomalacia) in adults.

    See preventing rickets for more information and advice about ensuring your child gets enough vitamin D and calcium.

    Who's at risk?

    Any child who doesn't get enough vitamin D or calcium can develop rickets, but there are certain groups of children who are more at risk.

    For example, rickets is more common in children of Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern origin because their skin is darker and needs more sunlight to get enough vitamin D.

    Babies born prematurely are also at risk of developing rickets because they build up stores of vitamin D while they're in the womb. Babies who are exclusively breastfed, especially for longer than 6 months, may also be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

    It is recommended that:

    adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children over 4 years old should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D from at least October to Marchbabies from birth to 1 year of age, whether exclusively or partially breastfed, should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10mcg of vitamin D, to make sure they get enoughbabies fed infant formula do not need a vitamin D supplement until they are receiving less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, because infant formula is fortified with vitamin Dchildren aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D

    For more information, read should I take a vitamin D supplement?

    Genetic defect

    Rare forms of rickets can also occur in some inherited (genetic) disorders. For example, hypophosphatemic rickets is a genetic disorder where the kidneys and bones deal abnormally with phosphate.

    Phosphate binds to calcium and is what makes bones and teeth hard. This leaves too little phosphate in the blood and bones, leading to weak and soft bones.

    Other types of genetic rickets affect certain proteins in the body that are used by vitamin D.

    Underlying conditions

    Occasionally, rickets develops in children with rare forms of kidney, liver and intestinal conditions. These can affect the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

    Page last reviewed: 05 August 2021

    Next review due: 05 August 2024

    Source : www.nhs.uk

    The Biology of Skin Color Flashcards

    Start studying The Biology of Skin Color. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    The Biology of Skin Color

    3.3 7 Reviews

    Skin color is a ______ trait

    Click card to see definition 👆

    polygenic (determined by 4 genes)

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    True or False- Biologists classify certain forms of traits as good or bad

    Click card to see definition 👆

    False. Traits are just a product of the environment a group or species needs to adapt to.

    Click again to see term 👆

    1/11 Created by coralecates

    Terms in this set (11)

    Skin color is a ______ trait

    polygenic (determined by 4 genes)

    True or False- Biologists classify certain forms of traits as good or bad

    False. Traits are just a product of the environment a group or species needs to adapt to.

    Where is UV light most intense?

    The equator

    Who would be most a risk for developing the bone disease rickets?

    Children born to mothers with dark skin, living far from the equator. This is because rickets is caused by vitamin D deficiency, and children with dark skin absorb less UV light.

    Why would a depleted ozone layer increase the risk of skin cancer?

    The ozone layer blocks UV rays, so increased amounts of UV light will increase the risk of skin cancer.

    something about evolution idk why would protective genes increase in a population over time

    The frequency would increase because individuals with the genes for more molecules would leave more offspring.

    Why do indigenous groups of people in different parts of the world have different skin colors from other groups of people?

    UV map, altitude, diets

    Biologists sometimes say that "natural selection depends on the specific environment where a species lives." What does this statement mean?

    Traits can be helpful or harmful. If populations of a species are in different environments, some traits that are helpful in one environment might be harmful in another.

    Pros/Cons of UV rays

    It can cause cancer and hurt reproductive ability, but is good for building a healthy immune system/Vitamin D

    How does the synthesis of melanin by melanocytes help these cells with their major function in skin?

    It protects the nucleus from DNA changes by UV rays in the "umbrella" or "shield" formation.

    Why is protection from skin cancer not one of the major reasons for dark skin in high UV areas?

    Evolution doesn't need to protect people from skin cancer, because people usually get skin cancer after they reproduce, so it doesn't matter to evolution if they die after that.

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    Rickets: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments

    Rickets is a disorder that can develop due to a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of rickets.


    Medically reviewed by Justin Choi, M.D. — Written by Jacquelyn Cafasso — Updated on July 3, 2019

    We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

    What is rickets?

    Rickets is a skeletal disorder that’s caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. These nutrients are important for the development of strong, healthy bones. People with rickets may have weak and soft bones, stunted growth, and, in severe cases, skeletal deformities.

    Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphate from your intestines. You can get vitamin D from various food products, including milk, eggs, and fish. Your body also produces the vitamin when you’re exposed to sunlight.

    A vitamin D deficiency makes it difficult for your body to maintain sufficient levels of calcium and phosphate. When this occurs, your body produces hormones that cause calcium and phosphate to be released from your bones. When your bones lack these minerals, they become weak and soft.

    Rickets is most common in children who are between 6 and 36 months old. Children are at the highest risk of rickets because they’re still growing. Children might not get enough vitamin D if they live in a region with little sunlight, follow a vegetarian diet, or don’t drink milk products. In some cases, the condition is hereditary.

    Rickets is rare in the United States. Rickets used to be more common, but it mostly disappeared in developed countries during the 1940s due to the introduction of fortified foods, such as cereals with added vitamin D.

    Who is at risk for developing rickets?

    Risk factors for rickets include the following:


    Rickets is most common in children who are between 6 and 36 months old. During this time period, children usually experience rapid growth. This is when their bodies need the most calcium and phosphate to strengthen and develop their bones.


    You have a higher risk of developing rickets if you eat a vegetarian diet that doesn’t include fish, eggs, or milk. You’re also at an increased risk if you have trouble digesting milk or have an allergy to milk sugar (lactose). Infants who are only fed breast milk can become deficient in vitamin D as well. Breast milk doesn’t contain enough vitamin D to prevent rickets.

    Skin color

    Children of African, Pacific Islander, and Middle Eastern descent are at the highest risk for rickets because they have dark skin. Dark skin doesn’t react as strongly to sunlight as lighter skin does, so it produces less vitamin D.

    Geographic location

    Our bodies produce more vitamin D when they’re exposed to sunshine, so you’re more at risk for rickets if you live in an area with little sunlight. You’re also at a higher risk if you work indoors during daylight hours.


    One form of rickets can be inherited. This means that the disorder is passed down through your genes. This type of rickets, called hereditary rickets, prevents your kidneys from absorbing phosphate.

    What are the symptoms of rickets?

    Symptoms of rickets include:

    pain or tenderness in the bones of the arms, legs, pelvis, or spine

    stunted growth and short stature

    bone fractures muscle cramps

    teeth deformities, such as:

    delayed tooth formation

    holes in the enamel abscesses

    defects in the tooth structure

    an increased number of cavities

    skeletal deformities, including:

    an oddly shaped skull

    bowlegs, or legs that bow out

    bumps in the ribcage

    a protruding breastbone

    a curved spine pelvic deformities

    Call your doctor right away if your child is showing signs of rickets. If the disorder isn’t treated during a child’s growth period, the child may end up with a very short stature as an adult. Deformities can also become permanent if the disorder goes untreated.

    How is rickets diagnosed?

    Your doctor may be able to diagnose rickets by performing a physical examination. They will check for tenderness or pain in the bones by lightly pressing on them. Your doctor may also order certain tests to help make a rickets diagnosis, including:

    blood tests to measure the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood

    bone X-rays to check for bone deformities

    In rare cases, a bone biopsy will be performed. This involves the removal of a very small section of bone, which will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

    How is rickets treated?

    Treatment for rickets focuses on replacing the missing vitamin or mineral in the body. This will eliminate most of the symptoms associated with rickets. If your child has a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely want them to increase their exposure to sunlight, if possible. They will also encourage them to consume food products high in vitamin D, such as fish, liver, milk, and eggs.

    Calcium and vitamin D supplements can also be used to treat rickets. Ask your doctor about the correct dosage, as it can vary based on the size of your child. Too much vitamin D or calcium can be unsafe.

    If skeletal deformities are present, your child may need braces to position their bones correctly as they grow. In severe cases, your child may need corrective surgery.

    For hereditary rickets, a combination of phosphate supplements and high levels of a special form of vitamin D are required to treat the disease.

    Source : www.healthline.com

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