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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is rickets?

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    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Rickets is a childhood bone disorder in which bones soften and become prone to fractures and deformity. Although rare in industrialized nations, it is still fairly common in some developing countries. The main cause of rickets is a lack of vitamin D. Not having enough calcium in one's diet may also be a cause of rickets, as may vomiting and diarhoea. Some childhood kidney and liver diseases can cause rickets, as may a digestive disorder complication that affects calcium and phosphorous absorption.

    Rickets affects mainly children, although the disorder may also affect adults (osteomalacia). In most cases, the child suffers from severe and long-term malnutrition, usually during early childhood.

    The term rickets comes from the Old English word “wrickken”, meaning to twist or bend.

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