Osteomalacia
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Osteomalacia or 'soft bones' implies impaired mineralization of mature bone.It results from inadequate calcium and other minerals in body. This may be due to inadequate intake, absorption or metabolism of these minerals due to various effects caused by deficiency of vitamin D. Various studies have shown that Indians have low vitamin D levels.

The disease manifests as pain (usually generalized) and, in late stages, deformities of long bones.Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, nerve transmission and blood clotting. Osteomalacic patients often complain of muscle pains, fatigue, weakness of limb muscles and tingling numbness of limbs. Therapy consists of adequate exposure to sunlight and high doses of vitamin D. Associated malnutrition must also be corrected.

Rickets is a similar condition in children. As the bones are still growing, they develop deformities and fracture easily. Dental problems, muscle weakness, bone pains and growth disturbances are some of the important features of rickets. Protein energy malnutrition often accompanies the condition.

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