Calcium is an important mineral needed by the body to build strong bones and teeth.
It is also required for the proper functioning of the heart and other muscles of the body. Calcium deficiency can increase your risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia and hypocalcemia.
People who do not get enough calcium as kids, do not grow to their full potential height as adults.
The recommended amount of calcium per day can be obtained from the food, supplements and vitamins.
What can cause calcium deficiency?
The chances of calcium deficiency increase with age. Many other factors put you at risk, here are some of them.
– Not enough intake of calcium for a long period of time, especially during the childhood
– Some medications can decrease the absorption of calcium
– Dietary intolerance to calcium-rich foods
– Hormonal changes in women
– Certain genetic factors
Women need to increase their calcium intake earlier than men, starting from middle age. It’s important for women to increase their calcium intake as they approach menopause.
The decline in the estrogen hormone during menopause causes a woman’s bones to thin faster. Thus, increasing calcium intake is important to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and calcium deficiency.
Hypoparathyroidism, a hormone disorder that can cause calcium deficiency disease. People suffering from this condition cannot produce enough parathyroid hormone, which controls the calcium levels in the body.
Malnutrition and malabsorption also cause hypocalcemia. Malnutrition is when you don’t get enough nutrients and malabsorption is when your body cannot absorb the vitamins and minerals you need from the food you eat.
Common symptoms of hypocalcemia
1. Muscle problems
People with calcium deficiency may experience muscle aches, cramps and spasms. These people can also suffer from pain in the thighs and arms while walking or moving. Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, legs and around the mouth can also happen. And these sensations do not disappear with activity.
More extreme sensations can indicate a more severe deficiency, which can also lead to conclusions, arrhythmias and death.
2. Extreme fatigue
Low levels of calcium can lead to extreme fatigue and make you feel sluggish all the time. It can also lead to insomnia. Fatigue due to calcium deficiency can lead to lightheadedness, dizziness and brain fog, which can also lead to lack of focus, forgetfulness and confusion.
3. Nail and skin problems
Calcium deficiency for the long term can lead to dry skin, dry and brittle nails, coarse hair, eczema, skin inflammation, skin itchiness and psoriasis.
4. Osteopenia and osteoporosis
Bones store calcium well and require a high level to stay a string. When the overall levels of calcium are low in the body, the body can divert calcium from bones making them brittle and prone to injury.
Calcium deficiency over time can lead to osteopenia, a reduction of mineral density in the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis, leading the bones to thin and becoming vulnerable to fractures.
5. Severe PMS
Low levels of calcium in women have been linked to severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS). As per a 2017 study, participants improved mood and had reduced fluid retention after taking 500 milligrams of calcium daily for 2 months. In 2019, a study concluded that low levels of vitamin D and calcium during the second half of the menstrual cycle might contribute to symptoms of PMS.
6. Dental problems
When the body has low levels of calcium, it pulls it down from teeth. This can lead to dental problems like tooth decay, brittle teeth, irritated gums and weak tooth roots.
Studies have suggested that calcium deficiency may be linked with mood disorders, including depression. Though more research is needed to confirm the results.
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