Osteomalacia refers to a softening of your bones, often caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Soft bones are more likely to bow and fracture than are harder, healthy bones.
Osteomalacia is not the same as osteoporosis, another bone disorder that also can lead to bone fractures. Osteomalacia results from a defect in the bone-building process, while osteoporosis develops due to a weakening of previously constructed bone.
Muscle weakness and achy bone pain are the major symptoms of osteomalacia. Treatment for osteomalacia involves replenishing low levels of vitamin D and calcium and treating any underlying disorders that may be causing the deficiencies.
April 18, 2014
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Menkes CJ. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of osteomalacia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Bhan A, et al. Osteomalacia as a result of vitamin D deficiency. Rheumatology Disease Clinics of North America. 2012;38:81.
- Menkes CJ. Epidemiology and etiology of osteomalacia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Chevy Chase, Md.: The Endocrine Society. http://www.endocrine.org/education-and-practice-management/clinical-practice-guidelines. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Position statement on vitamin D. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/academy-issues-updated-position-statement-on-vitamin-d. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 20, 2014.
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