What is rickets?

Natalya Kosenko
Natalya Kosenko
February 2, 2015
What is rickets?

Surely, every parent has heard about rickets, but not everyone knows what rickets is and what this disease is fraught with. This is a disease of the musculoskeletal system associated with a lack of vitamin D in a child during a period of intensive growth. The name of the pathology is translated from the Greek as "spine", since the curvature of the spine is a characteristic feature of rickets.

Causes of rickets

Reducing the level of vitamin D in the body can occur for one of the reasons:

  1. Violation of vitamin D production due to lack of solar energy, hereditary factors, some diseases of the liver and kidneys.
  2. Disruption of the absorption of vitamin D in the gastrointestinal tract associated with one of the diseases (celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, dysbacteriosis).
  3. Insufficient intake of vitamin D from food.

There are also predisposing factors that also need to be considered:

  • bad ecology;
  • artificial feeding of the child;
  • late introduction of complementary foods;
  • lack of muscle activity;
  • long-term use of certain drugs (phenobarbital, difenin);
  • prematurity

Symptoms of rickets in children

All young mothers are concerned about the issues of what can appear rickets, and how to find out if it is. Despite the fact that recently the disease of rickets is extremely rare, knowledge of the symptoms will help to begin timely treatment. The most characteristic signs of rickets are:

  • soft and thin bones of the infant's skull;
  • enlarged frontal and parietal tubercles;
  • seals on the ribs;
  • the slow growth of the child and late dentition;
  • O-shaped or X-shaped curvature of the legs (closer to the year).

Additional signs can be: excessive sweating, “baldness” on the back of the head, a strong smell of urine, anxiety, fearfulness, disturbances in sleep and appetite.

Treatment of rickets

Comprehensive treatment of the disease includes the replenishment of vitamin D deficiency, physiotherapy, medical gymnastics, massage. Of course, first of all, it is necessary to eliminate the causative factor.

Like any other disease, treating rickets is much more difficult than taking preventive measures, namely:

  • eating enough calories, vitamins and minerals during pregnancy;
  • breastfeeding or artificial formula with the addition of vitamin D;
  • walks in the sunny time of the day;
  • the right bait.


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