Calcium is a crucial nutrient, and it is the most abundantly found mineral in our bodies. Calcium is important for the maintenance and development of the bones and teeth. Calcium also helps in the functioning of the muscles, heart, nerves, and other parts of the body. It is also essential for bone formation, and this process is called bone mineralization. The formation of the bones takes place by a combination of the mineral complex like calcium phosphate, which helps in providing more density, structure, and strength to the bones. Calcium provides the structure and the rigidity to the skeleton. The ions of the calcium play an integral role in a number of metabolic processes. The foods rich in calcium include milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, yogurt, baked beans, soy milk, cabbage, onions, broccoli, gooseberries, sprouts, dried fish, ranges, and egg yolk, etc.
The deficiency of calcium can be regarded as a disease that affects the normal functioning of the body due to the deficit amount of calcium present in the body. Bones are the living tissues in our bodies, and the regular absorption and release of bone minerals keep happening in the body. At the moment when there is an inadequate amount of calcium in the blood vessels, the body starts removing calcium from the bones. This process can be quite dangerous for the functioning of the whole body. If this deficiency lasts for a long time, then it can result in the decalcification of teeth and bones, which increases the risk of bone fractures and bone deformation.
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Hypocalcemia is not an immediate process as the bones store the required amount of calcium in the body. The deficiency of calcium in the human body could be a result of hypertension, colon cancer, kidney stones, cardiovascular disease, weight management, diabetes, etc.
The following could be the causes of calcium deficiency in humans: -
High alcohol or coffee consumption
Dietary intolerance-lactose intolerant or people allergic to dairy products
Disorder of calcium absorption
Increase demand for calcium requirement by the body due to stages/phases such as puberty, breastfeeding, pregnancy, etc.
Elevated phosphorus level
Medication such as cortisone
Massive blood transfusions
Genetic factors- Vitamin D resistance syndrome or inherited disorders of calcium and phosphate homeostasis
Age-infants and children are known to absorb as much as 60% of the calcium-rich food they consume. With the increase in age, the absorption level gradually decreases to about 15-20%
The symptoms of calcium deficiency could range from mild to severe, depending on the extent and duration of calcium deficiency in the body. Following are a few symptoms of calcium deficiency:
Loss of height
Numbness in hands
Disturbances in bone metabolism
Extreme fatigue- low level of calcium can cause sleepless nights and extreme levels of fatigue. Lack of energy, lethargy, light-headedness, brain fog can lead to a lack of focus and cause confusion.
Dry and itchy skin
Tooth decay-due to weak roots, irritated gums, and brittle teeth
Muscle problem- one of the earliest signs of calcium deficiency where people feel pain in the arms and thighs, especially the underarms. The pain can be accompanied by numbness or tingling sensation in the hands, feet, legs, or mouth area.
Painful premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Low blood pressure
Difficulty in swallowing
Memory loss (due to improper brain mechanism)
Anxiety and irritability
Spasms of the lungs
Spinal or hip pain
Calcium is a major mineral in our body that is responsible for the health of our bones and teeth. It also aids in combating cancer, regulation of muscle contraction and heartbeat, and heart diseases. Calcium assists in maintaining a good immune system and also metabolizes the iron present in the body.
Around 99 percent of the calcium is stored in bones and teeth. The deficiency of the calcium can be treated by including calcium-rich dietary food like milk and other dairy products in our meals. This can help prevent the risk of developing a bone disease and will help your bones and teeth stay strong and healthy.
1. What Are The Symptoms Of Calcium Deficiency? Which Is The Best Source To Obtain Calcium?
The symptoms of calcium deficiency include fainting, tooth erosion, anxiety, depression, brittle fingernails, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, easy fracturing of bones, hallucinations, muscle cramps, numbness, difficulty in swallowing, memory loss, and low blood pressure to name a few. The best sources to obtain calcium are milk and other dairy products that are densely rich with calcium. Also, fruits like oranges, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all rich in calcium.
2. Which Diseases Can Be Caused Due To Calcium Deficiency? Is Calcium Helpful With Sleeping?
The deficiency of calcium in children can result in rickets in which the bone deformities and growth retardation occur. The calcium deficiency in adults can result in the softening of bones, also known as osteomalacia. If the deficiency persists for too long, it can cause muscle cramps and muscle spasms. It can also cause high blood pressure and osteoporosis. There are more calcium deficiency diseases that can occur due to prolonged deficiency of calcium in the body. Yes, calcium helps the brain to use amino acid tryptophan to produce melatonin that induces sleep. Thus, calcium helps in getting good sleep.