Bone Disease (Pediatric)
What is bone disease and how does it develop in children?
Childhood and adolescence are crucial years for the accrual of minerals necessary for bone health. Appropriate accumulation of these minerals (calcium, phosphorous and magnesium) in the bone help the body reach an optimal peak bone mass in young adulthood and decrease the likelihood of osteoporosis in old age.
Good bone health depends upon nutrition, enough vitamin D and calcium, balanced hormones and weight bearing activity. Our pediatric endocrinologists guide patients, and their parents, to ensure that they are meeting the requirements to attain optimal bone health.
Several medical conditions may compromise bone health including anorexia nervosa, amenorrhea, parathyroid disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, immobilization, inability to bear weight due to developmental delay or paralysis, over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism), Cushing’s disease and certain medications. These disorders must be treated in order to minimize the effect on bone.
Fragile bones may also be caused by a genetic disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta, This disorder ranges in severity depending on the mutation present. Some newborns may have a severe form of this disorder. Milder cases occur later in childhood or in adolescence. Children with osteogenesis imperfect or with osteoporosis can be treated with regular infusions of intravenous bisphosphonate therapy.