Calcium, an element found in nature, is essential to life. Bone growth and health depend upon adequate amounts of this mineral. The body needs calcium for bone structure as well as nerve and muscle function. The body absorbs calcium with the aid of Vitamin D. This vitamin is found in fish, especially salmon, and in foods that have been fortified with it, such as cereals and milk. Sunlight aids Vitamin D in calcium absorption and transport.
A lack of these nutrients can cause Rickets. This is a problem in which bones give up their calcium to other organ systems and become weak and, well, rickety. Rickets usually results from insufficient Vitamin D for for the body to absorb calcium and phosphorous. Lack of calcium in the diet may also cause this disease.
- Deformities of the skeleton such as bowed legs
- Bone pain
- Dental problems
- Excessive tiredness or weakness
Important: see your doctor as soon as these symptoms occur.
Rickets is most often treated by restoring adequate amounts of Vitamin D and calcium to the diet. Remember that sunlight is important as well. However, Rickets and many other childhood disorders can be avoided by feeding children a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.