Signs and Symptoms of Rickets

Signs and Symptoms of Rickets are discussed herein. You will find the article informative and helpful for your research.

How to Know if You Have Rickets

Causes And Symptoms Of Rickets
Causes And Symptoms Of Rickets – Photo Source:

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Rickets is not a common disease in tropical countries, though cases do occur in Africa, parts of India, Pakistan, and China. Rickets was once known in Europe as the ‘English’ disease.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was prevalent in parts of industrial England, but it is very rare to see a case in England now. It is a child’s disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin D.

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It is possible that quite a lot of children suffer from a shortage of calcium and vitamin D in their diet. Normally the shortage may not be acute enough to cause rickets.

Many mothers think that the sun is harmful, so if the child is poorly or has diarrhea, they take great care to keep it out of the sun.

If the child recovers quickly and is allowed in the sun again there is little permanent damage, but if the child is kept out of the sun for a long time, then rickets may develop.

Recent research on calcium needs indicates that many adult people can live on less calcium than the recommended amount.

Young growing children, however, need plenty of calcium. While they are in the breast, their needs are usually met. It is at the weaning stage that the risk arises.

As a result, calcium absorption is poor and the bones of the body do not receive enough calcium. Therefore, the bones remain soft and become deformed.

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Causes Of Rickets

Also, the causes of rickets could occur when rickets does occur still in tropical countries. it is due to any of the following reasons:

1. Malnutrition of the mother

When the mother does not feed on a well-balanced diet, it can affect the growth of the child since they feed mainly on breast milk.

2. Lack of exposure to the rays of the sun. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, he or she should not be exposed to excessive sunlight but sun rays especially in the morning hours.

3. A diet high in cereal food in which the phytic acid content may interfere with the absorption of calcium in the body.

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Symptoms of Rickets

1. Bow legs or knock-knees gradually appear. As the bones of the legs are soft, they bend under the weight of the body when the child starts to walk.

2. Spinal curvature

3. Pigeon-chest

4. Box-like appearance of the head with a protruding forehead due to the softening of the skull

5. Enlarged wrist, knee, and ankle joints

6. Delayed eruption of the teeth

7. Pot-belly due to lack of muscle tone.

All these symptoms are associated with calcium shortage. The treatment includes exposure to ultraviolet rays, either of the sun or artificial radiation, and doses of cod liver oil, rich in vitamin D.

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It is medically known that cases of rickets do occur sometimes in tropical Africa, especially in Nigeria. Many such cases reveal only one symptom of bow legs.

The condition was healed before other symptoms set in. It is probably because the child was allowed in the sun again.

This is important to note that though cases of rickets are not usually fatal, the deformities can be permanent even for a lifetime.

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