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What treatments are there for osteomalacia?

Treatment will cure osteomalacia in most cases, but easing bone pain and muscle weakness may take several months.

If the disease is caused by a lack of vitamin D, daily doses of 20–50 µg/800-2,000 units vitamin D are often used, but some doctors may give larger doses to start off with. Calcium supplements of 500–1,000 milligrams (mg) a day may speed up bone healing if your calcium intake from your normal diet is below 750 mg a day.

You’ll usually need daily supplements of vitamin D over a long period of time if there isn’t an obvious, curable cause for your osteomalacia. If you stop taking vitamin D, the condition may return.

Once you begin treatment for the condition any cracks in your bones will heal normally, though you may need painkillers in the meantime. You should avoid intensive exercise until the cracks have healed.

People with kidney failure or inherited forms of osteomalacia often need lifelong support from their doctor. They'll need to be monitored regularly in a hospital-based specialist unit. They’ll usually need special forms of vitamin D such as calcitriol tablets. This is because the kidney normally convert ordinary Vitamin D to calcitriol, which is the form of the vitamin needed for bone mineralisation.

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