Rickets is a bone disease that grows and occurs in the stages of their most intense growth, such as infancy, pre-school and puberty.
Rickets usually occurs due to the lack of vitamin D, which is a major factor in maintaining the calcium concentration in plasma. Rickets can occur due to not enough exposure of the child to sun rays, as there is no sufficient production of vitamin D.
The disease can also develop due to low calcium intake in the body. This type of ricket is hypovitaminosis or vitamin D-dependent ricket.
Another type of rickets is vitamin D-resistant rickets caused by inborn or acquired disorders in the metabolism of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus.
Ricket is more prevalent for children of mothers who lack vitamin D during pregnancy. In the last two months of pregnancy, most calcium is consumed on the bones, and the baby is then born with too little calcium.
Increased frequency of rickets in infants occurs especially in spring months. Children who stay in the house in winter, and don’t take extra vitamin D, don’t have enough vitamins because they were not exposed to the sun’s rays that are important for the development of this vitamin in the skin. Certain amounts of vitamins which are created during the summer remain stored in the liver and can be used during the early months of the winter. Vitamin supplies by spring are consumed, and then rickets develop.
The role of vitamin D
Vitamin D has the function of maintaining calcium plasma concentrations continuously and affects the mineralization and demineralization of the bones. It is necessary for the proper formation and growth of the bones. 95% of calcium in our body is found in bones.
Nutrition rich with vitamin D
It is present only in food of animal origin. Most of this vitamin can be found in fish oil, especially in cod fish. Vitamin D can be also found in fatty dairy products, but not so much. Less amounts of vitamin D are found in eggs, milk, cheese, even in some vegetables, such as cabbage and spinach. As these quantities are enough, in most countries milk products are further enriched with vitamin D.
Treatment of rickets
In the treatment of rickets, the most important is prevention. It is primarily necessary for the child to stay in the sun for at least 15 minutes on a daily basis, in which case the face and hands should be exposed in particular.
Also, in the prevention of rickets, children are given vitamin D in the form of drops. Taking supplements for vitamin D is especially recommended for babies fed with cow’s milk or industrial milk preparations that are not additionally enriched with vitamin D.
In the first year vitamin D is given continuously, and in the next two only in the winter months. Be sure to consult your doctor about the use of vitamin D capsules and dosing. Excessive doses of this vitamin can be harmful and after a while will leave lasting effects in the body; primarily on the heart and kidneys.