What Is Tetany?
Tetany is a disease caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common diseases among children under 5 years old. According to WHO, it affects approximately 1% of all children worldwide. Children are at high risk for developing tetanism because they have lower immunity against these germs than adults do (1).
Symptoms of Tetany:
Fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and pains, rash around the mouth and nose and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms may last from days to weeks or even months.
There is no specific treatment for tetanism. However, antibiotics can shorten the duration of symptoms (2) .
The best way to prevent tetanism is to keep your child away from water sources with fish or shellfish. If you suspect that your child has been exposed to any type of water source contaminated with fish or shellfish, wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Do not use alcohol based hand sanitizer since it will kill the beneficial bacteria found in these waters (3) .
Tetany symptoms in children:
Tetany is a medical condition caused by low levels of calcium and magnesium in the bone. This is due to the lack of enough vitamin D, which is essential for bone health.
In children, this condition is called pediatric tetany. The most common symptom of tetany in children is muscle spasms (3). Some of these include:
Muscle spasms in the arms, legs and face.
Tetany in children can be life-threatening. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, call a doctor immediately .
Tetany is a rare condition that affects young children, especially babies. It can cause convulsions, muscle spasms and cramps.
It can also cause involuntary movements. This condition is caused by a lack of calcium and magnesium in the blood. It can be fatal if it is not treated immediately (4).
Tetany signs and symptoms:
The first symptom of tetany is muscle spasms. These spasms are usually mild and occur during the first few months of life.
Over time, they can become more severe and may lead to convulsions. Other symptoms of tetany include:
Muscle aches and pains.
Tetany can also cause convulsions (5).
Tetany is caused by a lack of minerals in the body. The most common cause of this is low levels of calcium and magnesium in the blood.
These minerals are important for muscle contractions, including those involved in breathing. When a baby is born, it transfers from the liquid environment of the womb to the air environment of the outside world. This sudden change in pressure causes problems with breathing (6).
This can cause symptoms of tetany. Other causes of tetany include:
Poor diet. A lack of nutrients in the diet can lead to tetany.
An illness. An illness can lead to the body to becoming too weak to absorb nutrients from food.
Pregnancy: Pregnant mothers are prone to tetany due to a lack of nutrients and an increase in demand for nutrients by the fetus.
The most common symptom of tetany is muscle spasms. These can be mild and hardly noticeable or they can be severe enough to cause convulsions.
Other symptoms of tetany include:
Painful joints (7) .
Treatments, complications and prevention of tetany:
The most common treatment for tetany is Vitamin D, which should be taken under a doctor’s supervision. Make sure you eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients.
Sources & references used in this article:
The magnesium-deficiency tetany syndrome in man by BL Vallee, WEC Wacker, DD Ulmer – New England Journal of …, 1960 – Mass Medical Soc
Grass tetany of ruminants by DL Grunes, PR Stout, JR Brownell – Advances in Agronomy, 1970 – Elsevier
On the relation of tetany to the parathyroid glands and to calcium metabolism by WG MacCallum, C Voegtlin – The Journal of experimental medicine, 1909 – rupress.org
Grass tetany in grazing milking cows. by A Kemp, ML t Hart – Netherlands journal of agricultural science, 1957 – library.wur.nl
Further experimental studies in tetany by WG MacCallum, KM Vogel – The Journal of experimental medicine, 1913 – rupress.org
Spontaneous hypopotassemia, hypomagnesemia, alkalosis and tetany due to hypersecretion of corticosterone-like mineralocorticoid by IJ Mader, LT Iseri – The American Journal of Medicine, 1955 – amjmed.com
Etiologic factors in tetany of newborn. by LI Gardner, EA Maclachlan, W Pick, ML Terry… – Pediatrics, 1950 – cabdirect.org
A study of forced respiration: experimental production of tetany by SB Grant, A Goldman – American Journal of Physiology …, 1920 – journals.physiology.org
Grass tetany by HF Mayland – 1988 – eprints.nwisrl.ars.usda.gov