Osteomalacia is a generalized softening of adult bones which were at one time quite calcified and hard. It occurs in adult man and in some animals and birds. In man several types are recognized.
A mild form is found in pregnant, puerperal and lactating women, which recurs with each pregnancy. The skeletal changes become worse with each attack, but tend toward a spontaneous recovery when the drain of pregnancy and lactation is removed. A very similar group of cases arises in famine districts, or when the variety of diet is limited. The avidity of the tissues for calcium and phosphorus in these forms of osteomalacia is, however, undisturbed, and when these elements are added to the dietary in usable form, the patient recovers.
A second or senile type occurs in old people, in which the bone softening is, as a rule, confined to spine and pelvis. It generally