Vitamin D Case Study

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Rickets is the softening and weakening of bones in children, because of an extreme and extended vitamin D deficiency. It is highly unhealthy.

Symptoms of rickets include:
Bone pain or tenderness in arms, legs, pelvis and the spine. There may also be dental deformities, such as delayed formation of teeth decreased muscle tone, (loss of muscle strength), defects in the structure of teeth; holes in the enamel, and increased cavities in the teeth (dental caries).
There could also be progressive weakness, impaired growth, increased bone fractures, muscle cramps, and short stature, (adults less than 5 feet tall)
Other than that, there could also be skeletal deformities, such as an asymmetrical or odd-shaped skull, bowlegs, bumps in the ribcage
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Vitamin D largely comes from the exposure of sunlight to the skin, but it is also found in some foods such as oily fish, tofu, dairy products, certain mushrooms and eggs. Vitamin D is essential for a child to form strong and healthy bones. The patient possibly did not go out to the sun enough, or consumed too little vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency arises from a mismatch between populations of previous evolutionary environment and the individual’s current environment. For example, the environmental mismatch when dark-skinned people live at high latitudes. Furthermore, Asian immigrants living in Europe have an increased risk for Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D insufficiency was found in 40% of non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands, and in more than 80% of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants.
Despite high rates of sun-exposure, The Middle East has the highest rates of rickets worldwide. This can be explained by limited sun exposure due to cultural practices and lack of vitamin D supplementation for breast-feeding women.
Any child whose diet does not contain enough vitamin D or calcium can develop rickets, but the condition is more common in children with dark skin (as this means more sunlight is needed to get enough vitamin
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More consumption of vitamin-D rich food will help strengthen bones. However, if the patient is not diligent and consistent enough, it will take a longer time to be healthy. Despite that, it will take a long time either way, because bones cannot be fixed that fast as it requires time. If the patient wants quick results, they might have to consider surgery.
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"Rickets: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000344.htm>.

"Rickets ." NHS. UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. <http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rickets/Pages/Introduction.aspx>.

"Rickets." MayoClinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rickets/basics/definition/con-20027091>.

"Rickets: Learn the Symptoms and Treatments." MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

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