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Neocate and Rickets Disease

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Select Justice
October 24, 2021

Generations ago, rickets was a common disease in children throughout the world. Characterized by low vitamin D levels resulting in bowed legs, bone growth issues, weakness, and pain. Many children who had rickets developed lasting issues that had negative effects on their ability to fully function as adults. Thankfully, the disease has been all but eradicated in the western world thanks to modern medicine and fortified nutrition.

Sadly, pediatricians have recently noticed an uptick in rickets, largely connected to a baby formula called Neocate. Pediatricians recommended Neocate for babies who had trouble tolerating soy- or dairy-based formulas. Despite the manufacturer’s claims that Neocate provides babies with complete nutrition, the formula has been linked with very low phosphate levels in children. Low phosphate levels can cause a host of health issues, including rickets and other bone problems. 

Here, we’ll explore what parents need to know about rickets, and what you should do if you suspect that Neocate formula use has caused bone issues in your child. 

What Is Rickets Disease?

If you’re a parent who is concerned about your child’s bone formation, you may find yourself searching for rickets definition, or looking for symptoms of the disease. It’s smart to be concerned if you’ve noticed odd growth patterns or if you think your baby may be struggling with bone pain. 

What Causes Rickets?

Rickets disease is a condition characterized by soft or weak bones in children. Usually, rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. Certain rare genetic conditions can also cause rickets. Vitamin D helps children absorb the calcium and phosphorus they get from food. Both calcium and phosphorus are necessary for strong bones. Low levels of either of these nutrients can result in rickets. 

Childhood Rickets Symptoms

If you’re concerned about your child’s bone health, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms of rickets. 

Common signs and symptoms of rickets include: 

  • Spine, leg, and pelvis pain
  • Delayed bone growth (your child may fall off of the growth curve at their well-baby or well-child appointments)
  • Weakness
  • Delayed motor skills
  • Bowed legs 
  • Breastbone projection
  • Knock knees
  • Thick wrists and/or ankles

If you notice any of the above signs and symptoms of rickets disease, be sure to reach out to your pediatrician so that your child can be evaluated for rickets and other conditions that could negatively affect their growth. 

Rickets In Adults

While rickets is a childhood disease, many of the symptoms of rickets can appear in adults with vitamin D deficiency. When adults experience symptoms of rickets, the condition is called osteomalacia

Adult bones mature over time, and without enough vitamin D, the bone maturation process may not occur normally. Adults who experience osteomalacia may notice symptoms including muscle weakness and bone pain. For many people, the bone pain becomes worse at night, making it difficult to sleep. People with osteomalacia may struggle to walk or notice a change in their gait. 

Rickets that were left untreated in childhood can lead to complications that last well into adult life. Complications of untreated rickets can include dental problems, a curvature of the spine, growth failure, bone deformities, and seizures.

Rickets Treatment

If caught early, rickets can be treated by increasing a child’s intake of calcium and vitamin D. However, sufficient phosphate is required for children to absorb vitamin D. Phosphate intake and blood phosphate levels must be closely monitored to ensure effective treatment. This may require dietary changes. 

Why Do Doctors Recommend Neocate Formula?

If your child has experienced intolerance to dairy or soy formula, your doctor has likely recommended an allergen-free formula to help your baby get the calories and nutrition they need to grow. Sadly, many pediatricians have recommended Neocate formula to parents. Neocate can prevent babies and children from getting the phosphorus that they need for proper bone growth. 

If you’ve fed your child Neocate formula, you were likely following your pediatrician’s instructions, and you didn’t know that you could be causing your child harm. It’s important to be on the lookout for potential bone problems after feeding your child Neocate. Unexplained fractures, bone pain, rickets, and growth problems may be related to your child drinking Neocate. 

Neocate and Rickets

Many children who drank Neocate formula have shown low blood phosphorus levels. This may be caused by a low amount of phosphorus that can be easily absorbed by the body in Neocate formula. This can result in a condition known as hypophosphatemia, characterized by low levels of phosphate in the blood. Hypophosphatemia can result in bone problems.

Has Your Child Experienced Bone Problems After Drinking Neocate Formula?

No parent should have to watch their child suffer. If your child is struggling with rickets or another bone issue after drinking Neocate formula, you’re not alone, and it’s not your fault. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the pain and suffering your child has endured due to the use of Neocate formula. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation — we’re here to help. 

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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