Mutual Funds Commodities Research Tax Planning IPO Our Team Contact Us  

| More

Osteomalacia: A Rampant Yet Ignored Bone Disorder in Indians

Posted On: 2015-01-03 21:41:50 (Time Zone: IST)

Bone disorders, resulting from either a malformation of the bones or a loss of their mineral density, are widespread in India. While we all know that osteoporosis is a common disorder among Indians, another pervasive defect of the bones - osteomalacia - doesn't find much reference, despite being rampant among people of all ages.

Osteomalacia refers to a softening of the bones caused due to malformation resulting from a deficient bone building process. While osteoporosis affects and weakens previously well-built bones, osteomalacia is a defect of bone formation.

One of the most common causes of osteomalacia is deficiency of vitamin D, which again is extremely commonplace in India.

Do you experience a dull aching sensation in your bones or a feeling of extreme weakness in the muscles, particularly those that support the bones? Have you started experiencing difficulty in walking or climbing stairs because of a growing weakness in the legs?

If yes, you should immediately get a bone examination done for yourself.

"Osteomalacia occurs when bones do not get the required nutrients and building blocks as they are developing. Most common cause is the body's inability to absorb calcium and other minerals and process them into bone formation. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that enables the body to absorb calcium and maintain calcium and phosphate levels for proper bone formation. When the body lacks vitamin D, it affects bone formation resulting in defective bone, soft and ill formed bone that is extremely prone to fractures," says Dr Rajeev K Sharma, Senior Consultant, Orthopedics & Joint Replacement Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.

Deficiency of vitamin D translates into body's inability to process calcium for use in bones to give them structural strength. When bones grow soft, they may also bend into undesirable shapes, even causing disability.

"Osteomalacia is widely prevalent in India due to vitamin D deficiency. This may seem strange since India is a sun abundant country and the sun is the main source of vitamin D. When you skin is exposed to the sun, it process vitamin D which then is utilized by the body in multiple functions. But, a minimum of 15-30 minutes of exposure is needed on a regular basis to make this happen. However, lack of sun exposure is a major worry in India. Most people, including the elderly, stay indoors.

The Indian way of dressing is another factor. Indians mostly wear clothes that cover the entire body, leaving little or no skin exposed to the sun. In fact, a large number of women in rural areas even cover their heads and faces. At the same time, a large number of young in urban India who step out apply sunscreens liberally, again preventing sun exposure. All these factors make Indians more susceptible to osteomalacia due to vitamin D deficiency," says Dr Sharma.

In people, who have had any surgery to remove a part of the small intestine, vitamin D absorption can be a problem. Some kidney and liver disorders can also interfere with the body's ability to absorb vitamin D.

A diet lacking in phosphates can cause phosphate depletion. This can also lead to osteomalacia as phosphates are also important bone minerals. Sometimes, medication to treat seizures and other brain issues, can also cause osteomalacia.


In the initial stage of osteomalacia, there might actually be no apparent symptom. But, as the disease progresses and bones become soft and weak, one may start experiencing muscle weakness ad bone pain.

Muscle weakness or a feeling that your muscles will not be able to support your body and bones is a common symptom

Pain in the bones, especially in the bones that carry more weight is another symptom. Pain is often experienced in pelvic area, lower back, or the legs.

Difficulty in walking, climbing stairs or rising from a chair without support

Decreased muscle tone, leg weakness, bones that are achy and susceptible to fractures


"Osteomalacia can be easily diagnosed with an X-Ray and some other diagnostic tests. Blood tests to check for levels of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus in the blood can also detect the disorder. It can be treated too by quickly supplementing the body with vitamin D, calcium and other minerals that are needed to strengthen the bones. In most cases oral intake of supplements helps, but in some cases, vitamin D injections may be needed or even intravenous doses of vitamin D," says Dr Sharma.

In children who have suffered from bone malformation and distorted muscoskeletal system, there recovery will have to be aided with the use of braces to correct the deformation of the bone.

However, a large number of cases of osteomalacia can be prevented if there is sufficient awareness about the need for vitamin D intake and sun exposure.

Click here to send ur comments or to

Other Headlines:

COVAXIN® production volumes ramped up by Bharat Biotech, by additional 200 million

Nanomatrix Material launches G1 Wonder Mask with corona-killing Graphene-membrane

McDonald's adds 'Dosa Masala' burger to the menu in north and east of India, inspired by Indian taste palate

ICAI updates on evaluation of answer books of CA exams

On Teachers' Day, Oxford University Press employees become teachers at charity schools!

Pranab Mukherjee awards Menaka Gandhi with 2019 Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar

Odisha's CM Shri Naveen Patnaik takes top spot as the most popular CM in India

Win a chance to watch free stand-up comedy for an entire year with ITC's Bingo! chips & Comicstaan Season 2

PM Narendra Modi makes historic announcements on ending corruption and black money

In a rare event, 52-year-old, apparently dead was revived at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ahmedabad

Aashima Mehta designs for film Vaapsi

Summer clutches by Holii

Massco Media College announces admissions in various mass communication courses

The Delhi School of Communication Organises Annual Convocation Programme

Tips for employers to make commuting for employees easy and safe during Phase II of Delhi government's Odd-Even traffic scheme

Kanika Kapoor & DJ Rink sets SHIZNAY 2016 stage to ablaze

Aruna Iyer - Chef at Courtyard by Marriott Pune city center

94.3 My FM announces the winner of Paison ka ped season II

The Loomba Foundation presents the World Widows Report at the United Nations in New York

How to Fletter - A word game that makes you think fast and act faster

Foodhall welcomes you to Ola Cantina - The Mexican Festival

JD Institute of Fashion Technology opens its centre in Jodhpur

Yahoo Messenger Now available in Hindi for Android users

Frontier Lifeline Hospital Observed World Health Day

Thums Up Thunder Challenge brings the ultimate test of strength and mental grit to Rajahmahendravaram

Subir Hati to represent India at the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Programme

An Indian Student Publishes an Amazon Kindle Book to Reveal about the Shocking Racial Discrimination He Experienced in a US University

Diabetacare screens 1500 government officials and employees for diabetes and diabetes induced complications

3rd Shambhavi Puraskar awarded to Ms. Sabarmatee of Orissa

Sichuan Tourism Administration plans to promote tourism from India to China

Delhi Daredevils hop on board Shuttl for a greener Delhi

World Health Day Young adults falling prey to diabetes, pointing to an alarming shift, alert doctors at Columbia Asia Hospitals

Venus Concept to Launch Advanced Aesthetic Treatment Devices in Cochin

Splash introduces the new range of Spring Summer16 Accessories

Reebok launches the all new Digital Foot Map technology

One Touch Response flags its on-demand Personal Safety and Immediate Assistance Service for regular commuters during phase II of odd-even scenario

Pakistani Man with Amputated Arms Gets New Lease of Life with Innovative Low-Cost Assistive Device at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre

Cornitos' Navratri Special: No Onion No Garlic Nachos Crisps

Few Seats Left For Knowledge@Wharton High School Global Young Leaders Academy Summer Program 2016

Get ready for summers with Soothing Cream Massage at Aesthetics Medispa

Mumbai ran for Autism - Cause-a-thon

Blue Light Hazard: Not Just UV Radiation, Eyes Face Threat from Blue Violet Light as Well

Notion Press presents author Vijetha SN with the exciting debut novel 'Strange Weather at the Ridge'

Smaaash Spring Special, all day long at Smaaash, Cyberhub Gurgaon

Summer Offers At Rumourss Sky Villa & Resort

After Huge Overseas Accolades IFLC Is Going To Win Indian Hearts On May 07 At Talkatora Stadium New Delhi

FIITJEE's General Admission Test to be heldon 3rd April, 2016

Chennai flash floods were the largest natural catastrophe in India in 2015, says Swiss Re sigma study

Unexplained Knee Pain? Vitamin D Deficiency Might be the Cause

What It Means to Be a Woman?

Website Created & Maintained by : Chennai Scripts
West Mambalam, Chennai - 600 033,
Tamil Nadu, India

disclaimer copyright © 2005 - 2020