Literally, osteomalacia means “soft bone”. In osteomalacia, the process of bone mineralization is disrupted, so the bones cannot harden and become susceptible to being bent or even broken. This condition is generally caused by a deficiency of vitamin D.
What is the difference between Osteomalacia and Osteoporosis?
Although both can cause fractures, osteolamacia is different from osteoporosis. Osteomalacia occurs due to imperfect bone development process so that the bones do not harden, while osteoporosis is the loss of the bone that has been formed.
Osteomalacia only occurs in adults. If the same condition occurs in children, it is usually called rickets.
When the condition is not severe, people with osteomalacia may not feel any symptoms. When conditions deteriorate, some of the symptoms that are usually felt by patients are:
- Pain that is usually felt in the lower back, pelvis, groin, legs, and ribs.
- Pain may be more severe at night or when the diseased bone holds the weight too heavy.
- Arm and thigh muscles weaken.
- Weakening of the thigh muscles will make the patient walk like staggering.
- Stiff muscles.
- Difficulty standing from a sitting position or walking up the stairs.
- Feeling tired.
- The bones become easily broken.
Causes of Osteomalacia
Calcium and phosphate are needed by the human body to build strong bones. If the body lacks these two substances, then a person is at risk of developing osteomalacia. Here are some things that can cause a person to lack calcium and phosphate:
Vitamin D Deficiency. Sunlight will trigger the production of vitamin D in human skin. A person who is rarely exposed to sunlight or who wears sunscreen excessively will be deficient in vitamin D and at risk of developing osteomalacia.
Side effects of drug use. Examples are phenobarbital and phenytoin which is a group of anticonvulsant drugs.
Impaired kidney or liver function. Both of these conditions can cause a decrease in the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D.
Celiac disease. People who suffer from this disease will experience damage to the lining of the small intestine so that they cannot absorb nutrients from food. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that is usually caused by consumption of foods containing gluten.
Gastrectomy surgery. The process of absorption of vitamin D and other minerals in the intestine is at risk of being disturbed in people undergoing gastrectomy surgery (surgical procedure to remove part or all of the stomach).
Diagnosis of Osteomalacia
At Osteomalacia specialist clinic, some examination methods are usually performed by doctors to diagnose osteomalacia:
Bone biopsy. The doctor will insert a needle into the patient’s bone to take bone tissue samples. The sample will be further investigated in the laboratory.
Blood and urine tests, function to check levels of vitamin D and other minerals in the patient’s body.
X-rays function to check whether the patient has a small bone fracture (Looser transformation zones) which is one of the characteristics of osteomalacia.
Examination of bone mineral density, to see levels of calcium and phosphate in the patient’s bones.
Treatment of Osteomalacia
At Osteomalacia specialist clinic, treatment of osteomalacia include:
Intake of vitamin D supplements. Generally osteomalacia patients will be advised to take vitamin D supplements by doctors for several weeks to several months.
Diet settings. Doctors will advise patients to eat more foods that are rich in vitamin D and phosphate.
Absorption of vitamin D from sunlight. Patients will usually be asked to dry their bodies more often in the sun. But make sure to use enough sunscreen before sunbathing.
Intake of calcium or phosphorus supplements. If the level of calcium or phosphorus in the body is low, then the doctor can prescribe one of the two mineral supplements.
If there is a broken or deformed bone due to osteomalacia, your doctor may attach a brace or even surgery if it is severe.
Prevention of Osteomalacia
There are several ways you can do to prevent osteomalacia. The first way is to eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as cereals, cheese, eggs, fish oil, liver, milk, orange juice, or yogurt. The second way is to take the time to dry the body in the sun. And the third way is to take vitamin and mineral supplements. This is done if the content of vitamin D and minerals in the food consumed is not enough or you have digestive disorders to absorb the content of vitamins and minerals in food. Be sure to consult a doctor before taking supplements in any form.
Looking for Osteomalacia specialist clinic for an effective treatment of osteomalacia? Call 64762106 or SMS 84998384 for spine check today!