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
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:
A hereditary disorder of the kidney called vitamin D-resistant rickets
Renal tubular acidosis—a nonhereditary kidney disorder which causes bone calcium to dissolve
Foods high in vitamin D (such as fatty fish, egg yolk, and green vegetables)
Supplements of vitamin D, calcium, and other minerals
Biologically active vitamin D
Adequate but not excessive exposure to sunlight
Treatment to relieve or correct symptoms may include:
Wearing braces to reduce or prevent bony deformities
In severe cases, surgery to correct bony deformities
To help prevent rickets or osteomalacia:
Drink vitamin D-fortified milk.
Consume sufficient vitamin D, calcium, and other minerals. If you think your diet may be deficient, talk with your doctor about alternate sources of vitamins and minerals.
Get sufficient, but not excessive, exposure to sunlight. Fifteen minutes a day is usually considered sufficient. Any longer than that requires sun protection with clothing or sunscreens, especially in fair-skinned infants or children. Children with dark skin and their mothers are at increased risk for rickets and may need more sun exposure and dietary supplementation with vitamin D.
Breastfed, dark-skinned babies should receive 400 International Units per day (IU/d) of supplementation with vitamin D starting at no later than two months of age.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a