4 Things To Know About Osteomalacia
1. What is osteomalacia?
Osteomalacia is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes the softening of bones due to an impaired bone mineralization. It is a serious bone disorder and as this disease progresses, the condition gets worse and the pain can be felt in every bone and can make the movements difficult and painful.
2. What are the symptoms of osteomalacia?
Bone pain is the most common symptom that occurs in patients having osteomalacia. It is felt most often in legs, upper thighs, knees, feet and sometimes, an unusual pain in the feet. Also, as the condition progresses, it can also cause skeletal deformity. Some other symptoms that are common in osteomalacia are:
- Joint pain
- Muscular weakness
- Partial fracture
3. What are the causes of osteomalacia?
Osteomalacia is defined as a softness of bones and most commonly it occurs due to the Most of the vitamin D in the body is made through an exposure to the sun and the lack of sunlight on the skin is the main cause of the development of osteomalacia. lack of Vitamin D or due to any impairment in the body’s ability to activate and use this vitamin. Vitamin D plays one of the most important roles in regulating the building formation of the bones and it is also associated with the way in which the calcium and phosphate work to make the bones strong.
Also, in children, this softening of bones is known as rickets and it occurs due to osteoid which is the bone protein matrix is primarily made up of type 1 collagen and whenever there is insufficient mineral or osteoblast dysfunction, the osteoid gets accumulated and does not mineralize properly. Whenever there is any formation of the bone, the growth plate does not mineralize instead it becomes thick, wide and irregular. This occurs only in children as adults no longer have growth plates.
Osteomalacia occurs when the remodeled bones do not mineralize. Kidney failure, liver disorders, phosphate depletion, antiepileptics and some cancers such as oncogenic osteomalacia can also be the causes of osteomalacia. Oncogenic osteomalacia is a rare tumor but still the most common cause of severe hypophosphatemia (a defect in vitamin D metabolism) and osteomalacia. It is characterized by the bone pain and proximal muscle weakness.
4. What are the ways to prevent osteomalacia?
Exercise is one of the most important and easy ways to prevent and improve osteomalacia. It allows the body to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn prevent the fall related fractures. Exercise not only improves the health of the bone but it also increases the overall strength and coordination. Exercise encourages the bone to increase its calcium content and grow denser. The best exercise for the bone is weight bearing kind as it forces the body to work against gravity.
As stated above, lack of vitamin D is the most common cause of osteomalacia and an exposure to sunlight is the common and the easiest way to get vitamin D. Therefore, exposing the arms and face to the sunlight is one of the best ways to prevent and improves the symptoms of osteomalacia. If you have a sensitive skin, don’t allow your skin to go red.
3. Healthy diet
Exercise and an exposure to sunlight are just one part of preventing osteomalacia. It is important to have a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D plays a vital role in bone strengthening and increasing an intake of these vitamins can help in maintaining the bone health. Spinach, white beans, kale, and okra are some of the rich sources of calcium and food items such as cheese, fatty fish and egg yolk are the rich sources of vitamin D.