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What causes rickets?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Rickets is the result of a lack of vitamin D in the body, which leads to a phosphorus and calcium imbalance in the bloodstream. Because vitamin D helps to control and regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body, if vitamin D is deficient, these minerals will not absorb properly. In order to compensate for the low levels of phosphorus and calcium, the body begins to take these minerals from the bones. The bones become soft and weak. You can get vitamin D through the food you eat or from exposure to sunlight. Rarely, a hereditary condition known as hypophosphatemic rickets inhibits the kidney's ability to retain phosphate, causing rickets.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.