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What is Calcium Deficiency Disease and the Causes?

11 July, 2020 Vikrant Bhagat

Postmenopausal women are most at risk of a calcium deficiency. Others may include people who are lactose intolerant or vegan as one of the common source of calcium is dairy products. The institute of medicine states that a certain amount of calcium dose is very much important for the bones to stay healthy and function properly.

To set dietary intakes (DRI) and recommended daily allowances (RDA) for calcium include 200 mg/day for 0-6 months infant, 1,300 mg/day for 9-18 years old, 1,000 mg/day for 19-50 years old, and 1,200 mg/day for 70+ year old.

Not just humans, Calcium is a nutrient that all living organism needs. Calcium is vital for bone health and is the most abundant type of mineral found in the body. 99% of the human body calcium is present in the teeth and bones. It is necessary to maintain healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body; muscle movement and cardiovascular function are also linked with calcium quantity in the body.

What is Calcium Deficiency?

A disease that affects the normal functioning of the body due to the presence of calcium amount in the body is known as Calcium Deficiency. Bones are the living tissue in the body which develops constantly. A dynamic balance is maintained where bone minerals are absorbed from the blood vessels and then released again.

At a time when there is no adequate amount of calcium in the blood vessel, the body tends to fall shortage on calcium and at such a stage it removes calcium from the bones. This entire process can be quite harmful to the entire mechanism of the body. Long term calcium deficiency can result in decalcification of teeth and bones which increases the risk of bone deformation and bone fractures.

Causes of Calcium Deficiency

Calcium is a necessary nutrient which the body naturally cannot produce. A German “National Consumption Study II” (National Verzehrsstudie) stated that men with a consumption (average) of 807 mg of calcium and 738 mg of calcium for women are known to be below the daily recommended intake; it has been estimated that only two-thirds are able to cover up their calcium requirement via food.

\Women who undergo menopause should pay attention to the amount of calcium intake as certain hormones like oestrogen decrease in concentration.

Some of the causes of Calcium Deficiency are:

  • High alcohol or coffee consumption
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Disorder of calcium absorption
  • Kidney diseases
  • Increase demand for calcium requirement by the body due to stages/phases such as puberty, breastfeeding, pregnancy etc.
  • Medication such as cortisone
  • Athletes who sweat a lot
  • Massive blood transfusions
  • Pancreatitis
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Elevated phosphorus level
  • Dietary intolerance-lactose intolerant or people allergic to dairy products
  • 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%
  • Hormonal changes- decline in estrogen levels (menopause)

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

Calcium is required for a wide range of mechanism and therefore a deficiency of it can arise different kinds of signs and symptoms; the duration and intensity of the deficiency also play a huge role.

List of the signs and symptoms of calcium deficiency are-

  • Brittle fingernails
  • Digestive disorders
  • Miscarriages
  • Cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Infertility
  • Numbness in hands
  • Disturbances in bone metabolism
  • 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.
  • Extreme fatigue- low level of calcium can cause sleepless night and extreme levels of fatigue. Lack of energy, lethargy, lightheadedness, brain fog can lead to lack of focus and cause confusion.
  • Hallucination
  • Memory loss (due to improper brain mechanism)
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Tooth decay-due to weak roots, irritated gums, and brittle teeth
  • Painful premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Intestinal cramping
  • Loss of height
  • Spinal or hip pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Compression fracture
  • Spasms of the lungs

Precautions of Calcium Deficiency 

The best and easy way to prevent calcium deficiency is to switch to a calcium-rich diet. In addition to that, one must also take precautions and preventive measures to keep intact a healthy lifestyle where vices like excess alcohol consumption, smoking and eating too much of junk food are kept at bay. Try to exercise regularly and maintain healthy body weight. If required you can also consult with a nutritionist who can help you plan your meals and suggest you increase certain food intake as per the nutrient/vitamin requirement of your body.

Sometimes when there is not sufficient amount of calcium supplements in the diet, the doctor may ask you to take calcium supplements along with watching the calcium count in the diet. If a patient is losing weight he/she might be told to take a specific form of calcium like calcium citrate for better absorption.

Medicines And What To Eat

What to eat in calcium deficiency?

Dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, and milk are rich in calcium. You can also find calcium in rice drinks, fortified soy and fish which can be consumed with the bones (sardines). Beans, figs, broccoli, spinach, leafy vegetables, tofu, soy milk, nuts, seeds are some other calcium-rich ingredients that you can easily add to your daily diet.

Few tricks to add more calcium from dairy products to your diet:

  • For breakfast or a snack try to use milk instead of water to prepare oatmeal or other cereal
  • Make whole-wheat pancakes using yoghurt or milk
  • Create your own dip sauce with yoghurt
  • Add milk or yoghurt to your fruit smoothie
  • Take tiny bits of cheese as a dessert or a snack.

Few tricks to add more calcium from non-dairy products:

  • Add loads and loads of greens- cabbage, green peas, broccoli, lettuce etc
  • Make a sandwich with all your favourite green vegetables; you can also add a sardine or a slice of salmon to add that extra flavour
  • Stew, soup or sauté beans and legumes, you can also add few chunks of tofu; black beans and other dried beans are super healthy and calcium-rich
  • Have oats for breakfast
  • Prepare sandwiches on whole grain wheat bread

Conclusion:

Mineral water is also a good source of calcium, mineral water with a content of 150 mg of calcium/L can be regarded as rich in calcium.

“Apart from that 3MEDS also provides the best Calcium Deficiency Suppliments that is delivered within 24 hours of order and is available 24/7 as 3MEDS is the best online medicine delivery portal in Delhi