Vitamin D and Nutritional Rickets

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  • Topic: Vitamin D, Hypertension, Chronic kidney disease
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  • Published : November 2, 2010
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RICKETS
For Scientific Principles and Health and Disease

By: Mackenzie Gray
112-69-7540
April 7, 2010

Rickets is a disease that deals with a deficiency with Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important by controlling calcium and phosphate levels. If the blood levels of these minerals become too low, the body may produce hormones that cause calcium and phosphate to be released from the bones eventually this leads to weak and soft bones. (2) Throughout this paper we will go over a variety of characteristics involving the disease of Rickets, these includes things such as: causes of disease, risk factors, significance statistics of Rickets, diagnosis, treatment, disease changes and comorbidity/comortality.

The main cause of Rickets by far is a deficiency during childhood of Vitamin D; however, not getting enough calcium and phosphorous in your diet can also lead to rickets. Rickets caused by a lack of these vitamins and minerals in diet is rare in developed countries, such as the United States, because calcium and phosphorous are found in milk and green vegetables. (1) In rickets, another mechanism in the body works to increase the blood calcium level. The parathyroid gland may increase its functioning rate to compensate for decreased levels of calcium in the bloodstream. To increase the level of calcium in the blood the hormone destroys the calcium present in the bones of the body and results in further loss of calcium and phosphorous from the bones. (3) In severe cases, cysts may develop in the bones. Vitamin D deficiency could be caused due to numerous reasons.

A risk factor can be defined as a characteristic, condition, or behavior, such as high blood pressure or smoking, which increases the possibility of disease or injury. Rickets usually occurs within children especially in the African American race. Therefore, risk factors for Rickets include things such as: race, age (children 6-24 months), breast-feeding problems with mother, lactose intolerance, and family history. (1)

Significant indicators of any disease include statistics such as incidence, and prevalence. The "prevalence" of a condition means the number of people who currently have the condition, whereas "incidence" refers to the annual number of people who have a case of the condition. There is a 39% incidence of rickets and an associated 10% fracture incidence in premature infants. As stated previously national trends occur depending on age, gender, race, and geographic location. (2)

There are several different routes on going to diagnosing Rickets. A physical exam can be taken that reveals tenderness or pain in the bones, rather than in the joints or muscles. Some tests performed to prove the diagnosis of Rickets include tests such as: Arterial blood gases, bone x-rays, and serum alkaline phosphatase test. (3)

Treatment and Disease control are very important when dealing with a disease such as Rickets. To treat Rickets you can start by replacing calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D that is lacking which will eliminate most symptoms. Dietary sources of vitamin D include fish, liver, and processed milk. (1) Exposure to moderate amounts of sunlight is encouraged. If rickets is caused by a metabolic problem, a prescription for vitamin D supplements may be needed. (3) Controlling a disease is very difficult especially if it a fatal one. There are three types of disease controlling pathways depending on things like how far along the disease has progressed. These types are also known as interventions and are split up in categories primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Primary intervention methods are mainly in order to get the public informed about a certain disease. For example, in middle school, students learn about STD’s and how they can be prevented by using condoms. So if a ceremony is held in front of the entire school warning students of STD’s and passing out condoms this would be considered a primary intervention....
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