Rickets continues around and remains a problem
Rickets has decreased in frequency, but it is still a problem.
Rickets is a disease of infants and children. Disrupts normal bone formation (ossification). Rickets causes an inadequate mineralization in the bone. This softens the bone (producing osteomalacia) and allows a marked flexion and distortion of the bones.
Until the first third of the twentieth century, rickets was mainly due to lack of exposure to sunlight or lack of vitamin D In foods such as dairy products. Sunlight provides the ultraviolet rays necessary for the natural production of vitamin D in our skin. These rays do not pass through the ordinary glass of the window.
Once the role of vitamin D in rickets was discovered, cod liver oil (which is rich in vitamin D) became a favorite remedy, if not too tasty. Thanks to these vitamin D supplements, nutritional rickets has become relatively rare in industrialized countries.
Nutritional rickets still occurs, for example, in breastfed infants whose mothers are underexposed to sunlight and in dark-skinned infants who do not receive vitamin D supplements (dark skin blocks UV rays). In some non-industrialized countries, vitamin D deficiency Rickets is still a major problem.
Rickets in industrialized countries is now usually due to other causes, namely:
Disorders that create vitamin D deficiency by interfering with the absorption of vitamin D through the intestines. Diseases (for example, liver or kidney) that affect normal metabolic conversion and activation of vitamin D. Conditions that alter the normal balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body.
No matter what rickets is due to, the characteristics are the same. They include the smoothness of the baby's skull (formally known as craniobabes and informally as "ping-pong ball skull"), enlargement of the front end of the ribs (creating the "rickety rosary"), thickening of the wrists and ankles , lateral curvature of the spine (scoliosis) and abnormal forward curvature of the spine (kyphosis and lumbar lordosis) and deformation and narrowing of the pelvis (which in the woman interferes later with vaginal delivery).
When the child with rickets begins to walk, the weight on the soft axes of the legs results in knees or, more often, pellets. Deformities of the spine, pelvis, and legs reduce height and lead to short stature. Deformities of the spine impair posture and gait.
A person with rickets seemed to walk in an unsteady or wobbly way, so that "rickety" came to mean that, shaky and wobbly. The word "rickets" is probably a corruption of "rachitis" that comes from the Greek "raquis" (spine) + the suffix – "itis" (inflammation). Before the causes of rickets were discovered, rickets (which is also called "rickets") was thought to be an inflammatory disease of the spine.
If you still think rickets is gone, it is not. The authors of this article have seen children with rickets not only in impoverished areas (in Africa) but also in areas of the world that are generally not considered impoverished (USA and Canada).
Rickets is still with us.
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