Learn About Osteomalacia

What is the definition of Osteomalacia?

Osteomalacia is softening of the bones. It most often occurs because of a problem with vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Your body needs calcium to maintain the strength and hardness of your bones.

In children, the condition is called rickets.

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What are the alternative names for Osteomalacia?

Vitamin D deficiency - osteomalacia; Calcium - osteomalacia

What are the causes of Osteomalacia?

A lack of the proper amount of calcium in the blood can lead to weak and soft bones. Low blood calcium can be caused by low vitamin D level in the blood.

Vitamin D is absorbed from food or produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. Lack of vitamin D produced by the skin may occur in people who:

  • Live in climates with little exposure to sunlight
  • Must stay indoors
  • Work indoors during the daylight hours
  • Wear clothes that cover most of their skin
  • Have dark skin pigmentation
  • Use very strong sunscreen

You may not get enough vitamin D from your diet if you:

  • Are lactose intolerant (have trouble digesting milk products)
  • Do not eat or drink milk products (more common in older adults)
  • Follow a vegetarian diet
  • Are not able to absorb vitamin D well in the intestines, such as after gastric bypass surgery
Vitamin D deficit

Other conditions that may cause osteomalacia include:

  • Cancer -- rare tumors that cause low phosphate level in the kidney
  • Kidney failure and acidosis
  • Lack of enough phosphates in the diet
  • Liver disease -- the liver cannot convert vitamin D to its active form
  • Side effects of medicines used to treat seizures
What are the symptoms of Osteomalacia?

Symptoms include:

  • Bone fractures that happen without a real injury
  • Muscle weakness
  • Widespread bone pain, especially in the hips

Symptoms may also occur due to low calcium level. These include:

  • Numbness around the mouth
  • Numbness or tingling of the arms and legs
  • Spasms or cramps of the hands or feet
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What are the current treatments for Osteomalacia?

Treatment may involve vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus supplements taken by mouth. People who cannot absorb nutrients well through the intestines may need larger doses of vitamin D and calcium. This includes people who have some types of weight loss surgery.

People with certain conditions may need regular blood tests to monitor blood levels of phosphorus and calcium.

Who are the top Osteomalacia Local Doctors?
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Endocrinology

Vanderbilt Diabetes

Nashville, TN 

Kathryn Dahir is an Endocrinologist in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Dahir has been practicing medicine for over 23 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Osteomalacia. She is also highly rated in 24 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Hypophosphatasia, Osteomalacia, Hypophosphatemia, and Rickets. She is board certified in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine and licensed to treat patients in Tennessee. Dr. Dahir is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
13
conditions
Endocrinology

Yale Endocrinology

New Haven, CT 

Karl Insogna is an Endocrinologist in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Insogna has been practicing medicine for over 46 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Osteomalacia. He is also highly rated in 13 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Hypophosphatemia, Hereditary Hypophosphatemic Rickets, Rickets, and Malnutrition. He is board certified in Endocrinology and licensed to treat patients in Connecticut. Dr. Insogna is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
13
conditions

Tokushima University

Tokushima, JP 

Seiji Fukumoto is in Tokushima, Japan. Fukumoto is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Osteomalacia. He is also highly rated in 13 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Osteomalacia, Hypophosphatemia, Rickets, and Hereditary Hypophosphatemic Rickets.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Osteomalacia?

Some people with vitamin deficiency disorders will get better within a few weeks. With treatment, healing should happen within 6 months.

What are the possible complications of Osteomalacia?

Symptoms can return.

When should I contact a medical professional for Osteomalacia?

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of osteomalacia, or if you think that you may be at risk for this disorder.

How do I prevent Osteomalacia?

Eating a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium and getting sufficient exposure to sunlight can help prevent osteomalacia due to vitamin D deficiency.

Calcium benefit
What are the latest Osteomalacia Clinical Trials?
Evaluation and Treatment of Bone and Mineral Disorders
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Studies of States With Resistance to Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone
What are the Latest Advances for Osteomalacia?
Favorable effects of burosumab on tumor-induced osteomalacia caused by an undetectable tumor: A case report.
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a child with human immunodeficiency virus infection - a case report.
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Radiotherapy for a rare phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor in the middle ear presenting with oncogenic osteomalacia: A case report.
What are our references for Osteomalacia?

Bhan A, Rao AD, Bhadada SK, Rao SD. Rickets and osteomalacia. In Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 31.

Chonchol M, Smogorzewski MJ, Stubbs JR, Yu ASL. Disorders of calcium homeostasis. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 18.

Demay MB, Krane SM. Disorders of mineralization. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 71.

Weinstein RS. Osteomalacia and rickets. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 231.