The Return of Rickets

Rickets, a childhood disease that was predominant in the 17th century, is coming back in certain parts of the world, one of them southern England, as illustrated in this article.

Rickets occurs because of vitamin D deficiency and the lack of calcium being absorbed in the stomach (a process that requires vitamin D), which leads to underdeveloped, soft bones.  These soft bones lead to bodily deformities such as bowed legs, a curved back, and a square-like head shape. They are also to prone to fractures.

Rickets is called a childhood disease because the symptoms appear in the development of children. Deficiencies early on can lead to complications in adult life, such as the aforementioned bodily deformities.

We thought we had previously wiped out rickets, at least in the developed world, but it seems to be coming back where it shouldn’t be. Vitamin D deficiency is the culprit, we have talked a bit about the threat of rickets before in talking about low vitamin D levels.

Poor diet and most of all, lack of sunshine have been implicated in the resurgence of the disease.

What doctors believe in England is that the youth are not only on a bad diet, but that they are spending too much time indoors playing video games and watching TV and not getting enough sunlight. This would figure with what many believe as an emerging vitamin D deficiency epidemic.

As we have talked about before, many see this epidemic as a result of the excessive sunscare tactics put forth by sunscreen and dermatological groups. Covering up and applying tons of sunscreen has deprived a large group of people of much-needed vitamin D, due to lack of sunshine. This results in all sorts of implicated health problems, such as certain types of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and rickets in children.

 Junk food diets surely don’t help either. vitamin D can be found in such foods as fortified milk, oily fishes (salmon for example), eggs, and butter.

However, diet is argued by many as not a sufficient source. So remember, get out in the sun every once in a while, or hop in a tanning bed!

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