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Posts Tagged ‘Osteomalacia’

When you do not take in enough vitamin D and calcium through the foods you eat problems with your health can arise. You need both to be healthy and strong. Here we look at some of the health conditions that can develop when you exhibit a deficiency of one or both of these important elements.

While it is called a vitamin, vitamin D is technically a hormone because the body is able to manufacture it due to sun exposure. Therefore in theory human beings should not require vitamin D from the foods they eat as long as they receive enough sunlight. Often known as the “sunshine nutrient” vitamin D is both unique as well as vital to the health of the human body.

Rickets:

Rickets is primarily a disorder found in childhood that involves soft, weak bones. This disease is usually caused by a low intake of calcium and sometimes phosphate. Making sure that a child maintains a healthy quantity of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus can easily prevent this health condition.

In children who have gastrointestinal and/or other stomach related disorders, a calcium or vitamin D supplement may be in order.

Osteomalacia:

Osteomalacia is a medical condition that is caused by either a lack of vitamin D or the body’s inability to metabolize this vitamin properly. Osteomalacia shows itself in the form of soft bones, weakness in the muscles and pain in bones that is very diffuse. This disease is most commonly felt in the hip area. Bone fractures are also common with individuals who suffer from osteomalacia.

The symptoms of this health problem are directly associated with low amounts of calcium in the body. The symptoms include a heart rhythm that is abnormal in nature, spasms occurring in the hands, feet or both, numbness around the mouth and numbness in the arms and legs.

Often both a bone x-ray as well as a bone biopsy is needed to diagnose osteomalacia.

Osteoporosis:

A low intake of both calcium and vitamin D can contribute to the development of osteoporosis, which tends to be more common in women than in men.

Osteoporosis is defined as the “thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time.” This is especially the case for women going through menopause or for those who are postmenopausal because bone depletion picks up speed as a woman ages. Taking supplements of calcium and vitamin D for high-risk groups is a means of maintaining density of the bones as well as a way to help prevent bone fractures.

Studies have shown that in the case of serious bone fractures of the hips, an extra supply of calcium helps to slow the loss of bone. It is recommended that even those individuals who are presently taking a medication that helps to ward off osteoporosis should also take a calcium and vitamin D supplement on a daily basis.

Calcium is also theorized to have the benefit of improving the level of lipids in the bloodstream that serve to keep the heart in top form and also help to prevent a person from putting on unwanted pounds.

It is important to bear in mind that vitamin D protects against this disease only in conjunction with calcium.

Samantha

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