What Is Osteomalacia

Osteomalacia is a condition mostly in adults characterized by weak bones which can break very easily. This is because the bone dissociated faster than they are made by the body. This condition is more or less the same as rickets in children.

What causes osteomalacia?

This condition is caused by breakdown of the bone building process. In this case, the bones dissociate faster than they are formed which leads to weak bones which are susceptible to breakage. Experts claim that there is little or no absorption of the vitamin D. lack of this vitamin leads to decreased calcium absorption in the body. Low levels of calcium affect the bone building process directly because calcium is the major building block. This condition can also be caused by lack of enough sunlight to facilitate absorption of vitamin D, malabsoption of vitamin D and inability of the body to produce vitamin D from diet. Osteomalacia can also be caused by kidney disease, cancers, phosphate depletion in the body and side effects from some drugs. There are also some people who inherit the condition from their parents.

Symptoms of osteomalacia

Like all other diseases and conditions, osteomalacia has some symptoms. They include

  • Weakness of muscles
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Numbness in legs and arms
  • Numbness around the mouth
  • Easy fractures
  • Spams in legs and hands

Diagnosis of osteomalacia

The condition is usually diagnosed through a number of ways. They are

  • Bone biopsy through which the strength of the bones is determined. One is said to have the condition is the strength of the bone is wanting.
  • Vitamin D testing; this is done by measuring the concentration of Vitamin D in serum. There is a specific concentration requirement for healthy bones. Concentration of calcium and phosphate is also measured. If the concentration of these nutrients is lower than normal, you could be having osteomalacia because the bone building process does not proceed normally.
  • Bone X-ray; this is done to determine the bone ultrastructure. Experts know how a normal healthy bone looks like under the X-ray and that is what they look for. If the bone does not look as they expect, it means there is something wrong. This is especially the bone does not look as healthy as they look.
  • Bone mineral density scan; this is a process which is used to show density of the bones. Bones have a specific density and this is what the experts look for.  If the density is lower than the specified density, you could be having osteomalacia. Experts may also perform other tests to determine whether one has the conditions associated with bone problems like renal diseases and conditions.
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