Osteomalacia causes - soft bones - adults - vitamin D deficiency

Among many factors, severe vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia resulting in soft bones by their hypomineralisation in adults.
Adult skeletal structures after attaining growth, due to many factors connected with vitamin D deficiency, lose the calcium and phosphorus in them during bones turnover and become soft. The causes of osteomalacia are numerous.

Insufficient exposure to sunlight is one of the prime causes of osteomalacia (soft bones)

People living in higher latitudes face shorter days, especially in winter. They are also compelled to be home bound due to adverse weather conditions and soft bones result. In darker skinned people the soft bones problem is compounded due to their reduced vitamin D synthesis ability. This is due to high melanin pigment deposits in their skin which cut off UV-B rays from reaching the vitamin D producing region of the skin and causes vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia (soft bones).

Deficiency of vitamin D in diet is one of the causes of osteomalacia

The plant sources of vitamin D are very limited. Animal fats especially fish oils and fats are rich in vitamin D. Eggs and animal liver also contains vitamin D. Fortified milk and fortified cereal flours also can be good sources. Vegans who do not even drink milk are in the risk of getting osteomalacia and soft bones. Economically weaker sections of the people are prone to get affected by both calcium and vitamin D deficiency. This causes osteomalacia and soft bones.

Living in places continuously affected by fog and smog causes osteomalacia

Residents of the cities continuously covered by fog and smog may be affected or get into presymptomatic stage of this ailment and soft bones.

Medicine used in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures causes osteomalacia

Epileptics may suffer from soft bones. Epileptic seizures are prevented and controlled by phenobarbital and phenytoin. These drugs increase the hepatic metabolism. By this reaction the vitamin D is converted into inactive forms and the calcium absorption is affected leading to soft bones.

Orlistat (weight-loss drug) and cholestyramine (cholesterol-lowering drug) reduce absorption of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D. Corticosteroids like prednisone may decrease calcium absorption and causes osteomalacia (soft bones) by affecting cholecalciferol metabolism.

Malnutrition during pregnancy causes osteomalacia

Pregnant women transfer lots of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus to the growing fetus. The vitamin D and calcium reserves in the pregnant woman's body are tapped to maintain uninterrupted supply to the growing fetus. If the supplies are not replenished by diet, supplements and sunlight exposure deficiency results and causes osteomalacia and soft bones.

Celiac disease causes osteomalacia

Celiac disease (coeliac disease) is a disorder of the small intestine which is autoimmune in nature with genetic predisposition. In this disease there is a reaction of the body to gluten protein present in wheat. There is inflammation of the small intestine and atrophy of the villi which are responsible for nutrient absorption.

Hence there no nutrient absorption and along with many deficiency induced ailments, severe deficiency of vitamin D also occurs and causes osteomalacia and soft bones. Certain types of cancers, hereditary disorders in the metabolism , renal diseases like renal tubular acidosis and disease of the liver can be the causes of osteomalacia and soft bones.

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