Calcium Deficiency, also known as ‘Hypocalcaemia’, refers to when a person has insufficient levels of calcium in the blood. Not only is calcium essential for maintaining the overall health of bones and teeth, but it is also needed in other parts of the body such as the nerves and muscles.
Calcium Deficiency Symptoms
A calcium deficient person could experience a variety of symptoms. These symptoms may not all appear at the same time and could be misdiagnosed due to many of these symptoms being the same as other deficiencies or illnesses. But by learning and knowing the symptoms, one certainly has a better chance of finding out if they are indeed signs of being calcium deficient.
The symptoms include muscle cramps, muscle twitching and back spasms. Often people will complain of a “pins and needles” sensation around the mouth and in the fingers and toes. Bones become more porous and fragile while teeth are susceptible to tooth decay. Calcium deficiency symptoms may also include brittle nails, course hair, dull looking skin and listlessness. Calcium deficient people also tend to suffer from insomnia and have pale complexions with a low tolerance for colder climates. Hypertension, convulsions and severe menstrual cramps are also examples of symptoms one might experience.
There are a few reasons as to why a person could suffer from calcium deficiency. Age, low vitamin D consumption and poor diet, where not enough calcium is consumed, could leave you with brittle bones. The lack of calcium in your food causes the body to remove calcium from your bones to be used in other organs of your body such as the muscles. If poor calcium intake in your diet continues, your bones, teeth, nerves and muscles will suffer.
Prolonged use of medications or laxatives containing magnesium may also lead to calcium deficiency. The absence of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) which helps increase the concentration of calcium into the blood stream and extreme exposure to mercury are also examples of the many causes of calcium deficiency.
If you recognize some of the calcium deficiency symptoms and have a strong suspicion that you might be suffering from calcium deficiency, then you may need to see your GP urgently. Your GP will probably enquire about your lifestyle and diet, and then possibly suggest a physical examination. Blood tests will be done to check the calcium levels in your blood however the calcium levels in your bones would have to be tested by means of x-rays.
Once your GP has diagnosed the severity of you calcium deficiency, there are a few ways in which it can be treated. Calcium Gluconate can be given to a patient via a drip however if the case is more severe, calcium chloride is given also via a drip instead. Once your body has received a boost with the calcium drips, there are more ways to increase your calcium intake on a daily basis.
Consume dairy products such as milk, cheese or yogurts and if you’re allergic to dairy products, Tofu provides a great alternative. Snack on nuts and raisins as these will greatly supplement your calcium intake – and are also a healthier alternative to snaking. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables, either raw or steamed. Lastly, purchase a calcium supplement that contains Vitamin D as this is essential in helping the body absorb calcium.