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Osteomalacia: More prevalent than we think?

Posted on: June 3, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


Everyone knows that osteoporosis leads to fractures, especially hip fractures. And almost everyone knows that DEXA scans (now called DXA scans) or other radiographic tests for bone mineral density are used to detect osteoporosis.

However, few people realize that DXA-scans will also detect osteomalacia, the adult form of rickets. The problem is that the doctor always assumes the abnormal calcium content is osteoporosis, rather than raising the question that it might indicate osteomalacia.

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9 Responses to Osteomalacia: More prevalent than we think?

  1. Rebecca Oshiro

    My puzzling bone pain disappeared with 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day. It terrifies me to think what my bones would have been like several decades down the road if I had not started taking D.

  2. Magic

    It terrifies me how many people are suffering………..and dying from lack of D3…

    How many people are stuck in nursing homes getting NO sunshine or vitamins……and dying.

    I have seen it in the last 18 months

    I don’t like to get carried away……BUT I BELIEVE IT…


  3. Rebecca Oshiro

    And yet there I was, at 27 years of age, suffering from bone pain. Thank you, IOM, for assuring me that my 22 ng/mL 25(OH)D level was adequate for skeletal health.

    My boss, a doctor, told me he is not a fan of Vitamin D Council material because it is too “silver bullet.” I would say more than any other field, the nutrition field discourages silver bullet style thinking. All of my training emphasized “patterns over time,” with explicitly suspicious instruction regarding supplements. I have been an outspoken critic regarding supplements for years (In general I prefer people make dietary changes long before considering a supplement), and yet I can not ignore what I have seen vitamin D do over and over again for many, many people. It is the closest thing in the nutrition field to a silver bullet.

  4. Magic


    My plan exactly.

    First make sure it will not harm…………and then GO FOR IT!


  5. Rita and Misty

    I was reared on Rodale and Adele Davis…rather than Dr. Spock…

    My entire life has been one of organic foods, supplements as appropriate and tons of exercise.

    At age 40 I had my first 25(OH)D test. I tested at 32 ng/ml. I was sick, and getting sicker.

    At age 46, I discovered the Vitamin D Council, and I supplemented to correct my 25(OH)D level to 74 ng/ml. My health turned around completely.

    I look and feel fantastic, and even during the most stressful times, my mood is always at least partly sunny.

    Yes, Magic, I too am sold.

  6. IAW

    To Rebecca: It is absolutely beyond my comprehension that doctors cannot see the difference between a vitamin/supplement and a pre-hormone/essential nutrient that was “originally” only produced from the sun striking our skin. I will repeat myself again. Just what do/did doctors learn about “Vitamin D” as they go/went through medical school. I have no medical background and yet I get that it’s NOT just a Vitamin even though we call it one.

  7. Rita and Misty

    Greetings IAW~~

    Magic and I were just discussing this point the other day. I happen to feel as you, that vitamin d should be renamed to what it actually is: pro-hormone d. But Magic did raise a good point. Many people will be scared to supplement with a “hormone.”

    It’s a dilemma for sure!

  8. Magic

    It’s too “silver bullet.” 400 international units are enough…………..You don’t need D3 you can get the same with Lipitor….1000 could be toxic…. More could poison you…etc The internet is all junk…Don’t believe it…

    These are all stories from Big Pharma sales people. In the dog park a guy told me he used to be one of them, he now owns a landscaping business here in Eugene. He was making great money but “couldn’t take it any longer.


  9. Rita and Misty

    I love my vitamin d3..and my sunshine…

    (please try to stay away from lawn care chemicals…poison..imo)

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