Children are advised to be provided with adequate amounts of calcium through milk, by pediatricians. The reason for this is, calcium is vital for growth in children and the overall development of their bodies.
Milk is one of the most reliable sources of calcium. However, supplements and vitamins are preferable for those who’re lactose intolerant. Consuming calcium in any form is a must to keep a check on calcium deficiency diseases.
Among the numerous minerals present in our body, that play an important role in its effective functioning, calcium is one. It is a major mineral that inhabits our body and is present in abundance in our bones, nails, teeth, etc.
About 99% of the calcium in our body is present in these regions. It is also involved with the endocrine system, which is responsible for the secretion of hormones in our body and supervises the release of insulin.
The deficiency of calcium affects the body directly and may cause harmful ailments like osteopenia, osteoporosis, etc. Let’s find out more about calcium deficiency and its aspects.
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Calcium Deficiency Causes
- Less and inconsistent consumption of calcium:
Not having adequate amounts of calcium, especially in childhood, makes a big difference in the way our body behaves.
If the body doesn’t get enough quantities of a mineral during the time of its basic development, deficiency diseases are common.
- Lactose Intolerant:
Lactose Intolerant individuals usually have a higher chance of developing calcium deficiency diseases, than others. This is because they are not able to consume dairy products, the primary source of calcium.
- Hormonal Alterations:
Changes in the bodies of women can also result in a deficiency of calcium. This is usually seen after pregnancy. The hormonal transitions that the body goes through during the times of pregnancy can strip the body of its usual calcium proportions.
Thus, the bone density of women also decreases with age and supplements should be taken for maintaining the level of calcium in our body.
- Prolonged medication due to certain diseases:
This can also be the cause of calcium deficiency. Certain medicines may have side effects that cause a deficiency of calcium.
The deficiency of calcium can be genetically passed down, family after family. Genetic causes are mostly not entirely curable but the amount of calcium can be controlled.
Calcium Deficiency Symptoms
Studies have shown that calcium deficiency leads to tiredness and lethargy. This happens due to low energy levels, owing to weak bones. The symptoms might include sleeplessness or insomnia, dizziness, etc.
The physical issues give rise to mental issues like not being able to remember things, lessened focus, and determination, indecisiveness, etc.
The major way to calculate deficiency can harm the body is by making way for osteoporosis. When the body is not given enough amounts of calcium, it starts deriving it from your teeth, bones, and nails, etc.
Thus, it corrodes the bones and makes them fragile and weak. The curtailing of bone density is known as osteopenia. It, in turn, causes osteoporosis. This makes the bones look naturally weak, thin and frail, prone to pains and injuries.
Sprains and fractures can become frequent in such a condition.
Since calcium is directly associated with bones, muscles get involved as well. Calcium deficiency can result in the feeling of numbness in the hands and legs, as well as the area surrounding the mouth.
Spasms and other kinds of muscle pains become quite frequent. Moreover, hindering the good condition of bones and muscles means experiencing discomfort while doing the most basic jobs like walking or running.
Certain fatal symptoms of calcium deficiency are arrhythmias and severe convulsions. In very few cases, it leads to death as well.
When the body starts drawing calcium from the teeth, due to a lack of its intake, certain problems occur. Corrosion of the outer and inner layers of teeth makes them weaker from the roots and prone to irritation, decay, etc.
These issues can also be found in children if they’re not made to consume calcium-rich foods.
The signs of PMS like headaches, irritation and stomach aches, etc, are known to aggravate due to calcium deficiency. Decreased amounts of vitamin D and calcium can make your PMS hard and painful. Supplements should be consumed regularly to prevent such a situation.
Effects on Skin and Nails:
If you notice consistent skin and hair issues, along with dry, flaky, and brittle nails, you might want to check your calcium consumption levels. Dry skin and scalp and rough hair are some common signs of calcium deficiency.
It may also direct to hair fall in patches, a condition known as alopecia. The itching and inflammation of the skin or eczema and psoriasis are also common.
The best possible way to prevent and cure calcium deficiency diseases like hypocalcemia is by increasing the intake of calcium by incorporating it into your diet. It is even more important for women and children.
Women are more likely to face the ill-effects of calcium deficiency than men. Here is a list of foods that can boost up the calcium level of your body.
- Milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt
- Dry fruits like almonds and other nuts
If by consuming these, you can curb the signs of calcium deficiency in your body, nothing like it. However, if they’re not enough, supplements are necessary. It’s important to consult an expert before you begin to have supplements.
Some of these may not be suitable for you and make things worse. In very few cases, calcium has to be injected into the body, when even the supplements don’t seem to work.
While consuming dairy products, do not forget to be aware of the fats and calories that are usually found in them. Opt for healthier options to prevent the advent of high cholesterol, followed by heart issues.