Osteomalacia

By: Savannah Houlihan

What is the skeletal system?

The structure of the body that includes bones and other types of connective tissues. The skeletal system supports organs and body tissues.

What is it?

Osteomalacia, or rickets, is the softening of a person's bones due to a lack of vitamin D.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is what allows our bones to absorb calcium, which keeps our bones strong and healthy.

Different ways to get vitamin D are:

  • Sunlight- UVB (ultra-violet lights) rays are absorbed through the skin and they are stored in the body for use later.
  • Food- Naturally found in tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Also put into milk.
  • Vitamin Supplements

Some Causes:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Certain surgeries (The stomach breaks down foods that have vitamin D and if part of the stomach is removed, then most of the vitamins are lost)
  • Celiac Disease (Autoimmune disorder: The lining of your small intestine is damaged and can't absorb vitamins)
  • Kidney or Liver problems
  • Drugs that are used to treat seizures

Common Pains

The most common pains may be these areas:


  • Hips
  • Pelvis
  • Ribs
  • Lower back
  • Legs

This is because these are the bones that have the most pressure put on them in everyday situations.

Complications

  • Broken bones
  • Bowed bones

Tests and Diagnosis

  • Blood and Urine Tests- Abnormal levels of vitamin D are located
  • X-Rays- slight cracks in bones
  • Bone Biopsy- Slender needle is inserted in a bone and a small sample of bone is taken to be looked at

Subcellular

Cellular

Chondrocytes begin to divide within the growth plate. The cells secrete and begin to line up in columns. Eventually they stop dividing and just grow.

Tissue

The tissue is being broken down and replaced, but due to lack of nutrients in a diet your body will lose vitamin D in the bloodstream

Organ

If you lack vitamin D then you cannot process calcium in your bones for it to have structural strength

Organ System

Normally all bones are affected and their structure is being broken down. Bones become soft and it gives them an inability to perform how they are supposed to.

Organism

The body will not be able to perform correctly. Bones are the structure of the body and when they aren’t strong then they won’t be supportive. This can cause bones to break or bend.

Inflammatory Response

  • This wouldn't be an autoimmune response because it isn't the body attacking itself, it is the body reacting to a certain problem caused by an outside source. In this case it would be a deficiency of nutrients that are taken into the body such as calcium and vitamin D.
  • Your body takes in calcium by your parathyroid, which regulates calcium levels in the body. PTH (parathyroid hormones) make osteoclasts that break down bones in order to release the calcium into the bloodstream.
  • It will continue to break down bones until your body thinks it has enough. This would be an example of negative feedback because when calcium or vitamin D levels are low this creates a stimuli to have the body break down bone tissue
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