HealthDiseases and Conditions

Osteoporosis in children: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Osteoporosis in children is a bone disease in the body. The essence of this disease is that the human bones become brittle, their density decreases, and they become prone to fractures.

Some time ago, this disease was not diagnosed in children, but was considered an exclusively adult ailment. But now the situation has changed. Now this diagnosis is put to children.

In utero acquired osteoporosis. Why does it arise?

As a rule, osteoporosis in children is diagnosed during puberty. But this disease can also occur at an earlier age.

Possible congenital osteoporosis in children. The reasons for its appearance may be different. Let's consider them:

  1. Premature babies are prone to osteoporosis.
  2. Hypoxia can cause a disease such as osteoporosis in children.
  3. Hypotrophy.
  4. Various placental pathologies.
  5. If a woman is carrying twins or triplets, then future children fall into the group of risk of osteoporosis.
  6. A small break between births.
  7. Violation of the normal rhythm of life in compliance with the regime of a pregnant woman.
  8. Any chronic diseases of a girl who is carrying a baby.
  9. Harmful habits of the future mother, such as drinking, smoking and taking drugs.

A one-year-old child has osteoporosis. Why?

In addition to the intrauterine acquisition of osteoporosis, it can also be diagnosed in the first year of a child's life. For what reasons does the disease appear in small children? The reasons can be the following:

  1. Mother's refusal to breast-feed. Feeding infants with artificial mixtures. Especially of poor quality.
  2. Lack of vitamin D.
  3. Disturbance of intestinal functions in absorbing nutrients.
  4. Deficiency of sunlight.
  5. Poor hygiene.

Teenage years. Why does the disease occur?

The reasons why osteoporosis appears in children during puberty:

  1. Consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco and substances containing narcotic substances.
  2. Malnutrition, lack of consumption of dairy products.
  3. Sedentary lifestyle.
  4. Unfavorable living conditions, poisoning by radiation or toxins.
  5. If a teenager does not engage in physical education, then this can be one of the causes of osteoporosis.
  6. Chronic diseases of organs such as the stomach, kidneys and liver.
  7. Inflammatory processes in the body, for example, tuberculosis and others.

Some drugs lead to osteoporosis

In addition to the above reasons, there is one more that can appear in any age period. The admission of certain medications can also bring to the development of such a disease.

These medicines include:

  1. Hormonal preparations made on the basis of glucocorticosteroid substances.
  2. Medicines intended to be used against seizures are anticonvulsants.
  3. Chemotherapeutic agents.
  4. The use of antibiotics such as Tetracycline and Cyclosporine.
  5. Medicines aimed at reducing the level of acidity in the stomach.


Also a common cause of osteoporosis is chronic diseases associated with metabolic disorders in the body. These include diabetes mellitus, leukemia, arthritis, thyroid dysfunction, and others. If osteoporosis is present in the child's body, then, as a result, the possibility of various fractures increases, and the general condition worsens. Therefore, you need to see a doctor and get medical help.

How can I tell if a child has osteoporosis?

The age of the child determines the occurrence of difficulties in diagnosing osteoporosis in the body by external signs, since they simply do not exist. In the beginning, short-term pain occurs with osteoporosis in the spine or legs. Then there is a rapid fatigue of the body. There is fatigue when you are in one position, for example, sitting or lying on your side. If the disease continues to progress, the pain in osteoporosis increases and becomes constant and aching. Also, a child may have a bone fracture without causing injury. This species is spontaneous. As a rule, these fractures are subjected to such parts of the body as the ulnar and humerus, the neck of the thigh.

External signs

By what external parameters can you determine that the child has osteoporosis (ICD-10 allocated sections M80-M82 for this disease)? Now consider the signs:

  1. Growth retardation.
  2. Changing the child's posture, namely, the deflection in the waist region is removed, the stomach bulges outward, and the thorax is rounded more than normal.
  3. Skin folds become asymmetrical. This is due to the fact that the spine deviates in any direction.

We conduct X-ray. Are there signs of illness on the pictures?

Diagnosis of this disease has certain difficulties. In order to make a diagnosis, it is necessary to observe the child for a certain time. Also, if a child has fractures, then according to their X-ray images, you can see certain signs of osteoporosis.

  1. The upper layer of bone tissue does not have the necessary density.
  2. The change in the shape of the vertebrae, namely they have a wedge-like appearance.
  3. Thin layer of outer layer of bone.
  4. Rebuilding of bone tissue from one site to another.


In young children, diagnosing osteoporosis is even more difficult, since similar symptoms have a disease like rickets. But there is a method for determining osteoporosis in small children, namely densitometry. By means of this method it is possible to reveal the mineral density of bones. After the diagnosis of "osteoporosis" is set, the doctor prescribes the necessary therapy. Treatment of the child is made individually, since it is necessary to take into account the age and characteristics of the organism of a patient.

Treatment of children

What you need to know before treating osteoporosis? ICD-10 divides the disease into two types - primary and secondary. Before the therapy it is necessary to determine the type.

Disease in childhood is amenable to treatment. The main thing is not to delay, but to take all the necessary measures to restore the body and follow the doctor's prescriptions.

  1. First of all, the doctor appoints a special diet for the child, which includes foods that contain large amounts of protein, calcium and phosphorus. Diet for osteoporosis is one of the main elements of treatment.
  2. After a certain time, physiotherapy is mandatory. Exercises are necessary to protect the body from any bone changes. There are certain complexes of physical activity, which will provide a healing effect for the child's body.
  3. If a child has painful feelings that are difficult to tolerate, the doctor prescribes pain medications for the treatment of osteoporosis.
  4. The child is selected corsets, which will need to be worn.


In addition to diets, exercise and corsets, medications are prescribed to treat osteoporosis and to eliminate the underlying symptoms of the disease. These include:

  1. Calcitonins and estrogens. These drugs can be of both natural origin and synthetic production. Their effect on the body is aimed at strengthening the bones of the tissue. The doctor prescribes short courses of taking these medications. About what calcium is better to take, you need to consult a doctor who is treating you.
  2. Steroid anabolic and somatotropic hormones. These drugs are needed to build up bone tissue.
  3. Necessarily, vitamin D and "Osteogenon" are prescribed. These drugs are necessary for the normalization of metabolism in the child's body. Violation of its functions is the main cause of softening of bone tissue.

If possible, it is better to avoid the use of hormonal drugs, as they can cause complications in the work of other organs and systems of the child's body. Therefore, if there is an opportunity to carry out treatment and restore the body without taking hormones, it is better not to use them. And to limit oneself to such methods of treatment as diet for osteoporosis, reception of calcitonins and vitamins.

There are folk recipes for strengthening bone tissue. These include egg shells with lemon juice, infusions from herbs comfrey and St. John's wort. Calcium for osteoporosis is necessary. Herbal infusions do not cause harm, but before applying these medications it is better to consult a doctor.

Preventative measures to prevent osteoporosis

To maintain bone tissue in a healthy state it is useful to give the child vitamin complexes, which include vitamin D, magnesium, calcium. What calcium is better, the doctor can determine. It is also necessary to provide the child with the right nutrition, enriched with useful microelements and vitamins. In addition, the regime of the day and exercise should be observed. It is necessary to accustom the child to a healthy lifestyle, so that the adolescent does not have any thoughts about the use of alcohol or narcotic drugs. You should also tell the younger generation about the dangers of smoking. The best way to explain the correct things to a child is by example.

If parents will lead a healthy lifestyle, walk, play sports, then the child before your eyes will be a good example to follow. It is necessary to instill in the adolescent knowledge that it is necessary to monitor the condition of your organism and treat it carefully and carefully. If something is bothering, then do not wait, but go to a medical facility to provide timely assistance. Balanced meals, walks in the fresh air, exercise will ensure good health and a wonderful mood for the child.

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