The Concept of Osteomalacia

Published: 2021-07-03 10:30:05
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Category: Illness, Nursing

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Osteomalacia is softening of bones, typically through a deficiency of vitamin D or calcium. This bone disorder keeps your bones from hardening like they should. This makes them weak and easier to break. Osteomalacia is caused by the lack of vitamin D in the body. Some ways vitamin D deficiency can occur is through conditions that interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin D. An example of the conditions that interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin D is intestinal disorders Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease. Some types of cancer can interfere with vitamin D processing and Liver and Kidney disorders can have an affect on the metabolism of vitamin D. Osteomalacia can only happen in adults. When it forms in children it is called Rickets. Rickets may lead to bowed legs, an abnormally shaped skull, spine deformities, or protrusion of the breastbone in older children. Osteomalacia is most common women and normally happens during pregnancy. Elderly people who are homebound have an increased risk of developing Osteomalacia.
Osteomalacia has many symptoms. Those symptoms include easily broken bones, feeling tired, pain, stiffness, difficulty standing or walking up stairs, and weak muscles in arms and thighs. Low calcium can cause muscle spasm, cramping and numbness, tingling in the limbs, and numbness around the mouth or in hands and feet. Some people with this bone disorder may walk with a waddling, side to side stride. Bone pain can spread from your hips to your lower back, pelvis, legs, and ribs. Ways Osteomalacia can be diagnosed is by blood test, x-rays, and bone mineral density scans. Blood tests are used to measure the level of vitamin D in the body. During blood tests they will check if you have low levels of vitamin D, low levels of phosphorus, or low levels of calcium and that will determine if you are at risk of having Osteomalacia. X-rays are done to look at your bone structure. X-rays will show small cracks in your bones called Looser’s transformation zones. Bone mineral density scans are used to test the amount of calcium and phosphate in the bones. If the bone disorder is severe enough, the doctor may perform a bone biopsy, which is where a piece of your bone tissue is taken and tested. If Osteomalacia is detected early, oral supplements of vitamin D may only be needed. If you have absorption problems due to intestinal injury or a diet low in key nutrients, oral supplements of vitamin D may be the first line of treatment. In some rare cases, vitamin D can be injected through the skin or through a vein in your arm. You can treat Osteomalacia through certain foods in your diet such as cereal, cheese, eggs, fish, liver, milk, orange juice, and yogurt which all have vitamin D included in them. You can also receive more vitamin D by spending some time in the sun, but make sure to wear sunscreen and talk to your doctor about it. Osteomalacia can and will lead to broken bones and severe deformity if not treated in the long run. Increasing your intake of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus may cause you to see improvements in a few weeks time. Complete healing of bones will take up to about six months.

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