SOFTENING OF THE BONES
What is the softening of the bones?
The softening of the bones or osteomalacia is a process by which bones become soft. This is mainly due as a a result of a bad relationship between dietary phosphorus and calcium, but other factors may be involved, especially a deficiency of vitamin D or renal loss of phosphate.
The softening of the bones is different from osteoporosis. In osteoporosis, bones lose density. In osteomalacia the bones become soft. Osteomalacia in children is called rickets. Osteomalacia is the opposite of osteopetrosis, a disease in which bones become too hard.
Symptoms of softening of the bones
The process begins with pain in the lower back and thighs which subsequently passes to the thighs. Then, the pain moves to the arms and ribs.
Among the most characteristic symptoms of this anomaly is the lack of strength, fragile bones that can break easily, deformation of bones, flattening of the pelvis or body aches in many parts of the body (pelvis, leg, spine, etc.)
The bones in the aching area respond to pain when pressed, although the pain goes unnoticed if they do not suffer shock or pressure.
Main causes of bone weakening
The main causes are the following:
– Lack of phosphorus or vitamin D as a result of an inadequate diet for bones.
– Poor relationship between phosphorus and calcium intake: Eating a lot of high-calcium food is not enough. We should take the relationship between calcium-rich foods and foods high in phosphorus not to be counter-productive. (More information about this topic in “Bone loss” in the listing above)
– Hypophosphatemia (low phosphorus in the blood, usually in alcoholics)
– Absorption problems of Phosphorus or vitamin D
– Lack of sun exposure that causes a deficiency of vitamin D
– Malnutrition in pregnancy
– Prolonged anticonvulsant medication for epilepsy.
– Renal tubular acidosis (buildup of acid in the bones due to a malfunction of the kidneys)
Treatment of soft bones
The most appropriate treatment for soft bones is the administration of high amounts of vitamin D.
A diet in which the establishment of a proper calcium-phosphorus ratio will help prevent or ameliorate this disease.
More information on bone decalcification.