Osteomalacia: symptoms and treatment
Osteomalacia is a disease that begins to progress due to a violation of bone mineralization. As a result, the pathological softening of the bones occurs. The ailment of its etiology and clinic resembles a disease like rickets in children, which occurs due to hypovitaminosis D3.
In children, this pathology leads to softening of the fontanelles. The condition is extremely dangerous, because as a result of its progression the skull gradually softens and deforms.
A huge number of clinical studies were conducted, during which scientists tried to determine why a person has a softening of the structure of bones and develops osteomalacia. It was found that this pathology is generalized. This suggests that violations of the mineral metabolism occur throughout the body, but most often the pathological process is localized in the bones. There are no exact reasons for the development of pathology to date.
The main etiological factors of osteomalacia development:
- nutritional causes. This includes the deficiency of vitamin D, phosphoric acid and calcium. In medicine, there have also been cases when osteomalacia developed during a diet;
- hormonal change in the background;
- degenerative-dystrophic ailments — a common cause of osteomalacia development
- low levels of vitamin D3 and calcium in the body.
All these reasons lead to the progression of osteomalacia. It is important to remember that the earlier the disease is revealed, the easier it will be to treat it. This is especially true for young children.
Symptomatic in adults
Clinicians identify four forms of osteomalacia:
- Puero. With this form, the affliction affects the structures of the vertebrae. As a result, the spine is bent with a displacement in the lateral plane, and flattening of physiological kyphoses and lordosis occurs;
- Ricky. This form of ailment occurs in children who have begun puberty. The patient has anatomical deformation of the thoracic region, lateral deformation of the spinal column, kyphosis in the thoracic region. There are also characteristic cramping spasms of muscles. A person begins to walk in small steps;
- menopause. The form occurs in women during menopause due to a lack of estrogen. In women, the lumbar spine is shortened. This can lead to a change in growth. The appearance of a woman changes, and in medical circles it is called a «sedentary dwarf». As the disease progresses, other symptoms also appear. So, a woman has an «intermittent gait». Because of this, it is very difficult for a patient to climb stairs (a characteristic symptom). This form of the disease is often accompanied by numerous fractures because of the fragility of bones;
- senile form of osteomalacia. This condition in a person progresses due to the occurrence of multiple metabolic defects.
Symptomatology in children
The main symptoms of ailment in children:
- the presence of Loozer zones. These are small areas in which there is a decrease in bone density,
- Milkman’s syndrome. Its characteristic feature is calcium deficiency in the bones;
- with Renoir’s symptom on the radiographic image, decalcification of bones is clearly visible;
- deformation of the pelvis by the type «ace of hearts» — flattening downwards and widening upward. This is a characteristic symptom of pathology.
LOOSER Zones are a specific symptom that is manifested in children. In the bones are formed areas of enlightenment, which in the photographs are seen in the form of cracks, strips, and wedges.
If you suspect osteomalacia, you should immediately contact a qualified specialist for a thorough diagnosis and the appointment of a correct course of treatment. Diagnostic measures in both adults and children are the same, and include:
- laboratory examination (it is important to establish the level of alkaline phosphatase)
- X-ray examination
- bone biopsy at the site of Loozer zones localization
- UAC and OAM;
- if necessary, can additionally appoint CT (more often used to diagnose ailment in children).
First of all, you should immediately address the elimination of vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium deficiency, since without this further treatment will simply be ineffective.
Patients are prescribed medication:
- Vitamin D. In / m is administered calcitriol or alfacalcidiol;
- It is also indicated to take orally vitamin and mineral complexes. Children are prescribed vitamin D3 in drops;
- B vitamins and vitamin C are mandatory, which increase the absorption of vitamin D3, thereby increasing the effectiveness of treatment.
Treatment of the disease takes quite a long time and requires no small effort. If treatment is not timely, then the ailment can go into a chronic form. Do not treat yourself osteomalacia by yourself. If you suspect a development of this disease, you must visit a qualified specialist who can prescribe the correct course of treatment.
During treatment, it is important to adhere to a special diet. First of all, it should include foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Food for osteomalacia should be fractional.
In the diet should include:
- fermented milk products (cow or goat milk, fat-free cottage cheese, yogurt, fermented milk, kefir)
- Wheat bread
- greens (basil, broccoli, coriander, parsley and dill)
- meat (steamed)
- hard cheeses (several slices per day)
- mushrooms (honey agaric, maslata)
You need to limit usage:
- meat in large quantities.
Prohibited to use:
- strong tea
- fizzy drinks;
- Energy drinks.