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Nutritional rickets, primarily caused by vitamin D deficiency, is a significant health concern in India and worldwide. In this article, we will delve into the topic of nutritional rickets, specifically in the Indian context. We will discuss the signs and symptoms, classification, causes, triggers, risk factors, types of nutritional rickets, diagnostic tests, treatments, complications, and prevention techniques. Our aim is to provide information in a simple and layman’s language, making it accessible to everyone.

Signs and Symptoms:

Nutritional rickets can present with various signs and symptoms, including:

  •  Soft or Weak Bones: Weakness or deformities in the bones, such as bowing of the legs or knock knees.
  •  Delayed Growth: Slowed growth or short stature compared to peers of the same age.
  •  Muscle Weakness: Reduced muscle strength, leading to difficulties in motor skills and coordination.
  •  Dental Problems: Delayed tooth development, cavities, or malformed teeth.

What Is Nutritional Rickets (Vitamin D Deficiency)? :

Nutritional rickets is a condition that occurs due to inadequate vitamin D levels, leading to impaired bone mineralization and growth. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial for bone health.

How Is Nutritional Rickets (Vitamin D Deficiency) Classified? :

Nutritional rickets is typically classified based on the underlying cause and presentation. The classification includes:

  • Nutritional Rickets: Caused by a deficiency of essential nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, or phosphorus due to insufficient dietary intake.
  • Sunlight-Related Rickets: Occurs when limited exposure to sunlight prevents the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin.

Causes and Triggers:

The primary cause of nutritional rickets is a deficiency of vitamin D, which can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Inadequate Sunlight Exposure: Limited exposure to sunlight, especially in regions with low sunlight intensity or cultural practices that restrict outdoor activities.
  • Poor Nutritional Intake: Insufficient dietary intake of vitamin D-rich foods, calcium, or phosphorus, such as certain dairy products, oily fish, or fortified foods.

Risk Factors:

Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing nutritional rickets, including:

  • Age: Infants, young children, and adolescents are particularly susceptible due to rapid growth and increased demand for calcium and phosphorus.
  • Breastfeeding without Supplementation: Exclusive breastfeeding without adequate vitamin D supplementation can put infants at risk, as breast milk is generally low in vitamin D.
  • Dark Skin Pigmentation: Higher levels of melanin in the skin can reduce the production of vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure.

Types of Nutritional Rickets:

Nutritional rickets can manifest in different forms, depending on the underlying cause and nutrient deficiency. Common types include:

  • Vitamin D Deficiency Rickets: Caused by insufficient dietary intake of vitamin D or inadequate sunlight exposure, resulting in impaired absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Calcium Deficiency Rickets: Caused by inadequate dietary intake or poor absorption of calcium, leading to weakened bones.
  •  Phosphorus Deficiency Rickets: Caused by insufficient dietary intake or impaired absorption of phosphorus, resulting in impaired bone mineralization.

Diagnostic Tests and Treatments:

Diagnosing and treating nutritional rickets involves a comprehensive approach. Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood Tests: Measuring the levels of calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D to assess nutrient deficiencies.
  • X-rays: Imaging studies of the bones to evaluate bone density, growth plate abnormalities, or skeletal deformities.

Treatment options for nutritional rickets depend on the underlying deficiency and severity of symptoms. They may include:

  • Vitamin D Supplementation: Oral vitamin D supplements are prescribed to correct the deficiency. The dosage is determined based on the individual’s age and severity of the deficiency.
  • Calcium and Phosphorus Supplementation: Adequate intake of calcium and phosphorus through diet or supplements is essential to support bone health.

 Complications of Nutritional Rickets:

If left untreated, nutritional rickets can lead to long-term complications, including:

  •  Bone Deformities: Severe and prolonged deficiency can result in permanent bone deformities and growth abnormalities.
  •  Dental Issues: Delayed tooth eruption, enamel defects, and an increased risk of cavities.

 Prevention Techniques:

Preventing nutritional rickets requires a combination of strategies, including:

  • Sunlight Exposure: Ensuring adequate exposure to sunlight, particularly during morning or late afternoon when sunlight is less intense.
  • Balanced Diet: Consuming foods rich in vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, eggs, and leafy greens.
  • Vitamin D Supplements: Infants, children, and individuals with limited sunlight exposure or dietary restrictions should consider vitamin D supplementation under medical guidance

Addressing Nutritional Rickets:Marengo Asia  Hospitals’ Approach to Vitamin D Deficiency :

 Nutritional rickets, primarily caused by vitamin D deficiency, is a significant public health concern, particularly in India. Recognizing the importance of combating this preventable condition,Marengo Asia Hospitals has taken proactive measures to address nutritional rickets. Through their comprehensive approach, education initiatives, and specialized care, Marengo Asia Hospitals  is playing a pivotal role in raising awareness, providing effective treatment, and preventing the recurrence of nutritional rickets across India.

 Education and Prevention

One of the key components ofMarengo Asia  Hospitals strategy to combat nutritional rickets is raising awareness and educating both healthcare professionals and the general public. They conduct public health campaigns to disseminate information about the importance of vitamin D, sunlight exposure, and proper nutrition. By emphasizing the significance of preventive measures, such as adequate vitamin D supplementation, fortified foods, and sun exposure, they aim to reduce the prevalence of nutritional rickets in high-risk populations, including infants, children, and pregnant women.

 Diagnostic Expertise

The Marengo Asia  Hospitals boasts a team of skilled healthcare professionals specializing in pediatric care and nutritional disorders. Through their expertise and access to state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, they can accurately diagnose and assess nutritional rickets in patients. Various tests, including blood tests to measure vitamin D levels and bone imaging, are utilized to determine the severity of the condition and identify any associated complications.

Comprehensive Treatment

Once diagnosed, Marengo Asia  Hospitals provides comprehensive treatment plans tailored to the specific needs of each patient with nutritional rickets. The primary focus is on replenishing vitamin D levels to address the deficiency. Healthcare professionals prescribe appropriate doses of vitamin D supplements or recommend fortified foods to ensure patients receive adequate amounts of this essential nutrient.

In severe cases or when complications arise, such as bone deformities, Marengo Asia  Hospitals offers specialized care through orthopedic surgeons, endocrinologists, and rehabilitation specialists. These experts collaborate to design treatment plans that incorporate corrective surgeries, physiotherapy, and ongoing monitoring to optimize the patient’s recovery and long-term outcomes.

Dietary Counseling and Nutritional Support

To prevent the recurrence of nutritional rickets, Marengo Asia  Hospitals provides comprehensive dietary counseling and nutritional support services. Nutritionists work closely with patients and their families to develop personalized meal plans that are rich in vitamin D and other essential nutrients. They educate patients on the importance of a balanced diet and guide them towards incorporating foods that naturally contain vitamin D, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks.

Follow-up and Long-term Management

Managing nutritional rickets requires long-term commitment and follow-up care. Marengo Asia  Hospitals emphasizes the importance of regular check-ups to monitor vitamin D levels, bone health, and overall well-being. Through routine visits and continued education, they empower patients and their families to take charge of their health and make informed lifestyle choices that promote optimal vitamin D levels.

Collaboration and Research

Marengo Asia   Hospitals actively collaborates with academic institutions, research organizations, and public health agencies to conduct research and contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding nutritional rickets. Through these collaborations, they aim to improve diagnostic techniques, treatment modalities, and prevention strategies, ultimately advancing the field of nutritional health.

Nutritional rickets poses a significant health challenge, particularly in India, where vitamin D deficiency is prevalent. Marengo Asia Hospitals is playing a crucial role in addressing this issue through its comprehensive approach to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management. By raising awareness, providing specialized care, and emphasizing the importance of proper nutrition, Marengo Asia Hospitals is actively working towards reducing the burden of nutritional rickets and improving the health outcomes of individuals across India. Through continued research and collaboration, they strive to enhance their strategies and make a lasting impact in the fight against vitamin D deficiency and its associated complications.


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Marengo CIMS Hospital
Off Science City Road, Sola, Ahmedabad – 380060
Gujarat, INDIA

24×7 Helpline +91 70 69 00 00 00
Phone: 079 4805 1200 or 1008
+91 79 2771 2771 or 72
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