Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medical Mystery Of 9-month-old Infant Solved: Breastfed Baby Had Rickets

Date:
January 26, 2009
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
A-month-old infant who was admitted to a local Boston hospital with seizures and a bulging soft spot was actually suffering from rickets caused by vitamin D deficiency.

A researcher from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has determined that a 9-month old infant who was admitted to a local Boston hospital with seizures and a bulging soft spot was actually suffering from rickets caused by vitamin D deficiency. This case study describing the findings appear in the January 22nd issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

A 9-month-old breast-fed male infant presented at a local hospital with a seizure after a few days of nasal congestion, diarrhea, and possible fever. Examination showed a bulging soft spot and a prominent forehead. Laboratory studies determined hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, and elevated alkaline phosphatase.

"In arriving at a diagnosis, we needed to consider the causes of seizures and the consequences of breast feeding without vitamin supplementation," said article author Michael Holick, MD, PhD, director of the General Clinical Research Center and professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at BUSM and senior author of this case study.

According to Holick, who is an internationally recognized expert in vitamin D and skin research, this child had marked hypocalcemia, which could have caused his seizure. "Hypocalcemia has numerous causes and although rickets is a rare cause for this condition, it did merit consideration," he added.

Holick also pointed out that the child had received breast milk exclusively as his major nutrition for almost 9 months, which could result in several nutritional deficiencies, including iron and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K. Vitamin D deficiency as well as rickets have become resurgent in this country in recent years, particularly in infants who are solely breast fed.

"In addition, the mother was of African descent, and her dark skin puts her at risk for vitamin D deficiency, thus increasing the breast-fed child's risk of vitamin D deficiency," said Holick. There is essentially no vitamin D in human breast milk, on average about 25 IU per liter, meaning this child's mother would have needed to ingest at least 2,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day in order to transfer enough of the vitamin in her milk to satisfy the infant's requirement," added Holick.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Medical Mystery Of 9-month-old Infant Solved: Breastfed Baby Had Rickets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121174114.htm>.
Boston University. (2009, January 26). Medical Mystery Of 9-month-old Infant Solved: Breastfed Baby Had Rickets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121174114.htm
Boston University. "Medical Mystery Of 9-month-old Infant Solved: Breastfed Baby Had Rickets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121174114.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins