Calcium Deficiency – Important Facts About Hypocalcemia

Calcium Deficiency or Hypocalcemia
Calcium Deficiency or Hypocalcemia

Calcium, the most surplus nutrient in the human body, is ideally present in certain foods, in medicines, and as a dietary supplement. Calcium Deficiency or Hypocalcemia is an indication of inadequate calcium in the body.

In the first place, calcium plays a major role in supporting critical metabolic functions such as nerve transmission, muscle function, and vascular vasodilation and contraction.  Moreover, calcium supports bone health, helps maintain heart rhythm.  In this article, let’s discuss important facts about calcium and why it is vital for the body?

Benefits of Calcium

Health Benefits

  • Maintains bone strength and helps in bone growth.
  • Calcium foods are standard for preventing and treating osteoporosis and its origin osteopenia.
  • Acts as the main ingredient in antacids.
  • Also, doctors administer calcium to manage high amounts of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium in the blood.
  • Calcium controls and prevents blood pressure.
  • Capable enough to reduce and prevent PMS signs and cancers respectively.
  • Notably, calcium and vitamin D with so much of benefits may safeguard against especially breast cancer prevalent in premenopausal women.

Calcium Recommended Daily Allowances or RDA

Taking this amount of calcium, without or with supplements or from a balanced diet.

Age GroupUpper Intake levelsCalcium Level
0-6 months 1000 mg200 mg per day
7- 12 months 1500 mg260 mg
1-3 years2500 mg for 1 to 8 years700 mg
4-8 years2500 mg for 1 to 8 years1000 mg
9-18 years3000 mg1300 mg
19-50 years2500 mg1000 mg
51- 70 years20001000 mg (men) and 1200 mg (women)
70 plus years2000 1200 mg

Calcium Rich Foods

Some wonder foods which are the various natural sources of calcium 

  • Tofu
  • Fortified foods, soy products, juices, and cereals
  • Chinese cabbage, kale, broccoli
  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Milk

Main Side Effects Of Calcium

Calcium overdose – Increased intake of calcium can cause confusion, irregular heart rhythm, abdominal pain, mouth dryness, and nausea.

Risks of excessive or less calcium – People suffering from bone tumours, sarcoidosis, heart problems, and kidney disease should avoid calcium intake without doctor’s advice.

Reaction with other medications – In case you take calcium as a supplement, kindly remember the following points

  • A calcium supplement can react with drugs for epilepsy, diabetes, heart condition.
  • High intake of vitamin D results in higher calcium intake.
  • Can interfere or reduce the absorption of vital minerals such as zinc, or iron.

Side effects

  • Normal doses can create constipation, gas trouble and also bloat in specific cases.
  • In addition, very strong doses of calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Furthermore, people taking calcium supplements along with high calcium diet are prone to heart attacks.
  • Coral calcium products can contain a high percentage of lead.

Calcium Deficiency or Hypocalcemia

As a matter of fact, inadequate intakes create no major side effect in the short period.

However, some of the symptoms of calcium deficiency are

1. Calcium present in the blood is tightly regulated.

2. Hypocalcemia occurs due to use of certain drugs or diuretics, removal of stomach surgically, and renal failure.

Common signs of Hypocalcemia:

  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tingling and numbness in the fingers

3. Calcium deficiency can in certain cases also cause rickets.

Calcium Deficiency Causes

The categories of people prone to calcium deficiency:

  1. Women after menopausal phase – Menopause can cause bone loss by decreasing calcium absorption and increasing bone resorption. With menopause estrogen level decreases and the rate of bone loss stays at 3 to 5 % per annum and it remains less than a percent after 65 years.
  2. Amenorrhea – The disorder where the menstrual cycle fails to start or stop in healthy women, that occurs due to reduced estrogen levels.
    Moreover, amenorrheic patients suffering from anorexia nervosa have less calcium content, and high calcium excretion via urine.
  3. Female athlete triad – This condition refers to the group of the disorder including osteoporosis, amenorrhea, and an eating disorder. Mostly, women in the military and female athletes are affected by this disorder.
  4. Milk Allergy – Lactose- intolerant persons are bound to suffer from calcium deficiency if they regularly avoid dairy items.
  5. Vegans – Vegans consume less calcium because they eat more plant items containing phytic and oxalic acids. Moreover, non-vegetarian and Lacto-ovo vegans(dairy and eggs) have similar calcium consumption.

In general, it’s difficult to calculate the impact of veg diet because of different types of eating practices.

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