Calcium Deficiency | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
What are the Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency?
What are the common Signs of Calcium Deficiency?
You might be thinking about this questions when you are diagnosed with calcium deficient. In today’s post, I will provide you with more information about calcium deficiency, causes, symptoms and how to treat it.
Our human body performs tons of amazing activities every single day. These activities require an essential amount of nutrients which eventually builds up our body and helps it out in the healthy growth. The most essential inorganic substances required by the body are minerals. There are two types of minerals viz. Macro minerals and trace minerals.
Calcium and Its Importance
Calcium is undoubtedly one of the most important nutrients in the human body. Around 99% of calcium is stored in our bones and teeth. It forms the skeletal structure and helps in its functioning. Calcium is found naturally in food like Milk, broccoli, and tofu which are calcium-rich foods. (1)
Calcium plays a vital part in the growth of our body.
- It maintains the bone health by strengthening it.
- It regulates the muscle contraction and also regulates the heartbeat.
- Helps in the process of coagulation of blood (blood clotting).
- It acts as a co-factor for many enzymes.
Here is an informative video from Dr. Axe on calcium deficiency
Causes of Calcium Deficiency
Calcium deficiency which is also called hypocalcemia is caused due to a variety of factors. Following are some of the reasons: (2)
- Poor intake of calcium in the diet, especially during childhood.
- Undergoing medications that decrease the calcium absorption.
- Intolerance to food rich in calcium.
- Hormonal changes (during menopause).
- Genetic factors.
Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
Following are the symptoms of hypocalcemia in our body:
1. Weak Bones
In medical language, we call this condition ‘osteoporosis’. It osteoporosis the bone starts thinning and weakening due to the release of calcium into the blood. This can cause a bone fracture, curvature of a spinal column and also loss of height. Many people face knee problems due to deficiency of calcium. There are certain knee exercises which help in strengthening bones.
2. Muscle Cramps
This is the most primitive symptom of hypocalcemia. Our nerves and muscles are directly related to calcium levels in the blood, lower levels can cause spasm or twitch of muscles and also muscle cramps on legs and arms.
3. Weak Teeth
When the body lacks calcium it starts pulling it out from other calcium sources, like teeth. This leads to dental problems including weak roots, brittle teeth, irritated gums, tooth decay etc.
4. Poor Appetite
Loss of calcium in the body leads to poor appetite. Anorexia nervosa or eating disorder is linked to hypocalcemia as it causes impaired muscles contractibility, prolonged weakness etc.
5. Anxiety or Depression
Hypocalcemia causes a situation of confusion and dilemma within the patient. A person becomes indecisive, ultimately leading him to depression. Although, researches are still going on that if low calcium levels are the cause of depression.
6. Heart Problems
Hypocalcemia is sometimes the underestimated cause of heart failure. Mainly in older aged person’s where they usually lack calcium and vitamin D in the body. As calcium plays an important role in cardiac muscle contraction and metabolism so it’s mandatory to have a check on serum calcium levels. Exercising and eating cholesterol-lowering foods are very important for a healthy heart.
7. Slow Blood Clotting
Calcium helps in coagulation of blood of blood clotting. Low levels of calcium lead to a slow process of blood clotting which can cause blood loss.
8. Tingling Fingers
Tingling of fingers, toes, numbness on face etc. are the basic symptoms of low calcium levels in our body. If you feel such sensations go have a check on your calcium levels.
9. Difficulty in Swallowing
Hypocalcemia can cause a condition called dysphagia which means difficulty in swallowing. It arises from the throat or esophagus, ranging from mid to complete blockage of the throat.
Low levels of calcium can be a risk causing neurological and psychological problems. Hallucinations are one of those major issues. It gets treated as soon as the Calcium is restored.
Treatment for Calcium Deficiency
- Change your Dietary habits. Taking calcium and vitamin D rich foods can help in treating the symptoms.
- If you are unable to make up your calcium deficiency with food then you can opt for calcium supplements. But take the guidance of a doctor before taking this.
- Sometimes dietary changes and even supplements cannot give the desired result. Your physician can use injections of calcium to regulate the levels.
- Regular exercise is very important for proper assimilation of calcium.
- A balanced diet is also very important for treatment of calcium deficiency.
Some of the best calcium-rich foods are
- Dried Apricots,
- Yogurts etc