Osteomalacia

Osteomalacia is a condition in which the bones become soft. The cause of osteomalacia is not getting enough calcium or vitamin D (vitamin D deficiency).

A deficiency in vitamin D leads to the loss of calcium and phosphorus, both of which are necessary for making bones hard and strong.

A vitamin D deficiency leading to osteomalacia may be caused by a poor diet (malnutrition) or by a problem with the intestine (such as sprue) that prevents it from absorbing nutrients.

Symptoms of osteomalacia include bone pain and bones that fracture easily. Depending on the cause of the condition, treatment may include taking oral supplements of vitamin D and calcium. Treatment may also include taking prescription medicines.

Last Updated: June 23, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Jerry S. Trier, MD - Gastroenterology

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