“Drink a glass of milk a day.”
How many times in your life have you heard this statement? Milk contains calcium in abundance and calcium is an extremely important nutrient for the body. And calcium deficiency leads to calcium deficiency diseases. Calcium deficiency diseases aren’t pleasant to deal with. Even if you escape a disease- calcium deficiency shows itself in your nails, teeth and bones too. The major cause of calcium deficiency diseases is negligence- nothing more. Your body needs a certain amount of calcium to function properly. When it doesn’t get the amount required, you will start to see some calcium deficiency symptoms. To check if your body is getting the right amount of calcium as per its requirements- you can undergo a calcium deficiency test. Very few people take these tests because very few people know about the causes of calcium deficiency and its symptoms. By the time you are done with this article, you need to undergo a calcium deficiency test will further recede as your knowledge on the subject matter increases!
Table Of Contents:
What Is Calcium Deficiency?
Pretty straightforward- calcium deficiency is a state wherein the body is left exposed to deal with certain calcium deficiency diseases and other disorders like osteopenia all because of a lack of calcium in the body.
The daily calcium intake: age and gender-wise are displayed in a tabular form below.
Note: Pregnant and nursing women need to intake 1200-1500 mg of calcium daily.
Causes Of Calcium Deficiency:
The causes of calcium deficiency diseases are quite straightforward.
‣ Poor consumption rate (below the daily requirement level- especially in childhood)
‣ Medications (calcium absorption)
‣ Inability to consume calcium rich foods (Eg. Lactose intolerance)
‣ Hormonal imbalances (women in particular)
‣ Poor Vitamin D levels (Vitamin D helps absorb calcium)
‣ Other diseases or disorders (Eg. pancreatitis, Hungry Bone Syndrome etc.)
Symptoms Of Calcium Deficiency:
Identifying calcium deficiency symptoms is quite easy because many of them appear as visual cues. However, in the absence of the physical telltale signs of calcium deficiency in nails and teeth- looking out for the other symptoms of calcium deficiency becomes important.
The symptoms of calcium deficiency are:
‣ Excessive Tiredness: One of the biggest symptoms of calcium deficiency is fatigue- excessive fatigue. People with low levels of calcium get tired very quickly, find it difficult to go to sleep and become very lethargic in general.
‣ Changes In Nails and Skin: Calcium deficiency is reflected in one’s nails and skin. The skin loses its moisture and gets all dry. The nails too, lose their moisture becoming brittle and easy to break.
‣ Dental Issues: Calcium deficiency affects the teeth as much as it affects the nails and bones in the body. When the calcium levels in the body drop- the body borrows calcium from the teeth thereby, weakening them. Some common dental problems that can arise due to this are the weakening of roots, brittle teeth, tooth decay and tooth formation.
‣ Muscle Ache: Normal muscle ache is fine- it’s a mild symptom of calcium deficiency. However, if you start to experience numbness in the mouth, hand or leg area, you then need to take a calcium deficiency test and take the results to a doctor.
‣ Depressive Symptoms: People who suffer from calcium deficiency see a drop in their mood levels. Research studies have linked calcium deficiency to an increase in depressive symptoms.
Some other symptoms of calcium deficiency are:
‣ Memory loss
‣ Regular fractures
Hypocalcemia: Calcium Deficiency Diseases
Hypocalcemia is a synonym for calcium deficiency diseases. In India alone, 1 million cases of hypocalcemia are registered every year. A person who is suffering from hypocalcemia has too little calcium in their blood. To diagnose an individual with hypocalcemia- a calcium deficiency test has to be taken. The symptoms of calcium deficiency and hypocalcemia are the same- so are the causes. However, very few patients of hypocalcemia experience the symptoms of calcium deficiency severely and hence, a calcium deficiency test is required to confirm the diagnosis. On proper medication and diet; the treatment of the disease is relatively straightforward and it takes about 2-3 weeks to get rid off completely. For quick results, it’s super-important to start the calcium deficiency treatment immediately after the diagnosis is confirmed.
Some complications that can stem from hypocalcemia include:
‣ Lack of mobility (disability)
‣ Dental problems
‣ Easy fractures (spinal fractures too)
‣ Intolerable muscle ache
Calcium Deficiency Treatment
The calcium deficiency treatment is a relatively straightforward process. Extra effort has to be taken to consume food that’s fit for calcium deficiency. In fact- one’s diet itself has to be adjusted completely. While calcium deficiency treatment may be simple, the success of the treatment methods varies from one individual case to another.
Calcium deficiency needs professional attention as soon as you can feel the numbness in your joints. The tingling sensation is another major warning sign. The doctor will ask you to take a calcium deficiency test and based on the outcome of the test- the treatment will begin.
Again, depending upon the severity of the situation calcium deficiency treatment methods differ. With that being said, the most common calcium deficiency treatment methods are:
‣ Diet: The best form of treatment for calcium deficiency is to increase the intake of food items that are rich in calcium. By doing so, you will gradually overcome the calcium deficit that’s inflicting your body. The next portion of this article will deal with the food for calcium deficiency in a little bit more detail.
‣ Medication: Medication basically refers to calcium supplements- nothing else. Still, it’s not wise to consume supplements when avoidable as the side-effects of these supplements are notable, to say the least. Consult with your doctor before taking any kind of medication. In extreme cases only, will the doctor prescribe you with ‘calcium injections’ to make up the calcium deficit in your body.
Foods For Calcium Deficiency
What food makes up for calcium deficiency? Milk, yes. All its by-products, yes again. But milk isn’t the only food for people with calcium deficiency. other food items that are rich in calcium include:
‣ Fish (Sardines and Salmon)
‣ Dry Fruits (Almond and Nuts)
‣ Orange Juice (fortified)
‣ Wheat Bread
Forget taste for a while. Focus on your health. Be inventive. Find out a way to have the best of both worlds (tasty food and healthy food).