A condition which affects bone development in children, rickets can cause the bones to become soft and malformed, even leading to bone deformities. Rickets in adults is known as osteomalacia or soft bones.
The most common cause of rickets comes as a result of a lack of vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D comes from foods such as oily fish and eggs, and from sunlight on our skin. The vitamin is essential for a child to form strong and healthy bones.
Common during Victorian times, but mostly disappeared in the Western world during the 1940s thanks to the fortification with vitamin D of foods such as margarine and cereal, rickets still affects thousands of children each year.
Children of Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern origin have a higher risk because their skin is darker and they need more sunlight to get enough vitamin D.
Other groups who are at risk include children born prematurely and children taking medication that interferes with vitamin D. However, any child whose diet does not contain enough vitamin D or calcium can develop rickets
Rickets causes the bones to become painful, soft and weak. This leads to deformities of the skeleton, such as bowed legs, curvature of the spine and thickening of the ankles, wrists and knees. Here’s a list of the main symptoms of rickets:
- Pain – The bones affected by rickets are often sore and painful, which may mean the child is reluctant to walk, or may tire easily.
- Skeletal deformities– These can include soft skull bones, bowed legs, curvature of the spine, and thickening of the ankles, wrists and knees. The breastbone can also stick out, which is sometimes called “pigeon chest”.
- Fragile bones– The bones become weaker and are therefore more prone to fractures.
- Poor growth and development– The skeleton does not grow and develop properly so the child will be shorter than average.
- Dental problems– These include weak tooth enamel, delay in teeth coming through and increased risk of cavities.
As the child gets older, symptoms may also include:
- Waddling when walking
- Bent bones
- Muscle weakness and pain
These symptoms can also affect adults who have soft bones (osteomalacia).
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 diarrhea. Some childhood kidney and liver diseases can also cause rickets, as can digestive disorder complications that affect calcium and phosphorous absorption.
In rare cases, children can be born with a genetic form of rickets. It can also develop if another condition affects how vitamins and minerals are absorbed by the body.
As rickets is caused by a deficiency in at least one of three essential nutrients: vitamin D, calcium or phosphorous, your child’s diet needs to include foods rich in at least one of these nutrients.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D – Getting enough vitamin D supports strong bones and can help prevent rickets. When ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin, the result is synthesis of vitamin D, but it is worth noting that children with very dark skin or those who do not get enough sun exposure are susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency and therefore rickets. Eating foods rich in vitamin D can supply all the vitamin D to support strong bones and good dietary sources of the vitamin include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, eggs and yogurt. Many foods have also been fortified with vitamin D, such as orange juice, milk, margarine and breakfast cereals.
Calcium-rich Foods – Foods rich in this essential mineral calcium should be added to the diet of rickets sufferers. More than 99 percent of calcium in the body accumulates in the bones, and this mineral is necessary in conjunction with vitamin D and phosphorous to prevent the condition. Try calcium-rich foods like dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, as well as leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach.
Foods Rich in Phosphorous – Phosphorous is necessary for strong bones, so a rickets diet should also contain foods that provide essential mineral. Good dietary sources of phosphorous include some of the same foods that are rich in calcium: diary-based foods like milk, cheese and yogurt; eggs; and salmon. Other foods that contain phosphorous are whole-wheat and enriched bread; halibut, beef, chicken and turkey; and cola.
Milk – Fortified milk is a beneficial addition to a rickets diet because it contains vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous. However, some people do not drink milk for one or more reasons, such as not liking milk, avoiding animal-based foods in general or being lactose intolerant. For these children, it is important that their rickets diet contain several of the other foods rich in vitamin D, calcium and/or phosphorous.
Vegetarian Diets – A vegetarian diet may lack the essential nutrients necessary to support strong bones and may lead to rickets, so fortified foods or vitamin supplements may help in the prevention of nutrient deficiencies to which vegetarians are susceptible.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef, www.grasslandbeef.com. The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
As aforementioned, calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous should be taken to help relieve the symptoms of rickets.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
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Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/recommends/
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
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Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com
Nutrition for strong bones www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctgtEu5qIw4
Healing the body meditation www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh-Km4AXeE&feature=related
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Further Information (links and books)
Herbal remedies for rickets www.livestrong.com/article/363930-herbal-treatment-for-rickets
The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) by Annemarie Colbin
Diet for rickets www.livestrong.com/article/417024-diet-for-rickets
Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna
The Healing Power of Nature Foods: 50 Revitalizing Superfoods & Lifestyle Choices To Promote Vibrant Health by Susan Smith Jones
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Whole food supplement, Pure Synergy – www.thesynergycompany.com (800) 723-0277
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Callahan Technique, Thought Field Therapy – www.tftrx.com (760) 564-1008
Dianetics, Dianetics Technology – www.dianetics.com (800) 367-8788
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Rebounder, Evolution Health – www.evolutionhealth.com (888) 896-7790
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