Rickets and Osteomalacia Causes
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
Causes of Rickets and Osteomalacia
Rickets and osteomalacia result when there is a vitamin D deficiency in the body. This may occur when:
- The supply of vitamin D from the diet or sun exposure is inadequate.
- The metabolism of vitamin D is abnormal.
- Tissue is resistant to the action of vitamin D.
Vitamin D regulates calcium absorption in the body. It also controls levels of calcium and phosphate in bone. Vitamin D is absorbed in the intestines from food. Vitamin D is also produced by the skin during exposure to sunlight.
Most often, rickets and osteomalacia are caused by a deficiency of vitamin D. This can result from:
- Insufficient vitamin D in the diet. In children, this may be related to:
- Insufficient consumption of vitamin D-fortified milk
- Insufficient intake of vitamin D supplements to children being breastfed or to children who are Lactose Intolerance
- Lack of exposure to sunlight.
Less often, rickets and osteomalacia can be caused by other disorders that affect vitamin D absorption, metabolism, or action in the body such as:
- Kidney problems:
- A hereditary disorder of the kidney called vitamin D-resistant rickets
- Renal tubular acidosis-a nonhereditary kidney disorder which causes bone calcium to dissolve
- Chronic Kidney Failure
- Long-term kidney dialysis
- Diseases of the small intestines with Malabsorption
- Disorders of the liver or pancreas disease
- Certain drugs, such as:
- Certain seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) or phenobarbital (Luminal Sodium)
- Acetazolamide (Diamox)
- Ammonium chloride
- Disodium etidronate (Didronel)
- Fluoride treatment
- Toxicity or poisoning from: