Jan 2014 Home › Nutritional deficiency › Mineral deficiency › Calcium deficiency diseases - Calcium deficiency symptomsCalcium deficiency diseases occur when there is insufficient intake of the mineral from food and also due to certain physiological and hormonal abnormalities.
AdvertisementsCalcium deficiency caused symptoms include loss of bone density, bone fractures, convulsions and numbness and tingling in fingers and toes.
Untreated chronic calcium depletion can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and can be fatal. Most of the calcium in human body is found in the bones, giving them strength. Apart from being the 'backbone' of our skeleton, it is necessary for the normal functioning of muscles, nerves, blood vessels, heart, brain, endocrine glands and also for the proper formation of teeth and nails.
Daily calcium requirements for a man between 19-70 years is about 1000 mg, for a women between 19-50 years is 1000 mg and for a women between 51-70 years is 1200 mg. For adults above 71 years the daily requirement is 1200 mg. A combination of * calcium and vitamin D * is required at this age.There is increased requirement during pregnancy and lactation.
Most of our requirement of the dietary mineral can be met from food sources. Dairy products are calcium rich food sources. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cabbage are good plant sources. Many cereals, fruit juices and beverages are being fortified with calcium supplements. While taking the supplements care should be taken not to exceed the safe upper limits. Calcium overdose can lead to constipation, interference with absorption of other minerals, hypercalcemia and kidney stone formation.
Causes of calcium deficiencyThere are many causes for developing the depletion diseases of calcium. The most common cause is the insufficiency of dietary minerals in the diet. The insufficiency of vitamin D in the diet and the lack of exposure to sunlight are also important causes. In older adults, especially women, during the bone turnover, more of the bone mass is lost than that is built. It causes loss of bone density and shows symptoms of brittle bones, fractures and osteoporosis disease in adults above 50 years. Some of the causes of the calcium depletion symptoms and diseases are listed below.
- malnutrition and malabsorption diseases
- insufficiency of minerals in the diet
- poor intake/assimilation of dairy products
- inefficient intake of vitamin D
- the cause of insufficient exposure to sunlight
- lactose intolerance
- avoiding animal products
- old age and related diseases
- postmenopausal causes in women
- pregnant women
- nursing women
- use of antacids containing aluminum or magnesium
- use of glucocorticoids for long periods
Symptoms of calcium deficiencyShort term insufficiency does not cause any apparent symptoms as the body carries on its functions by sourcing the required mineral from the bones. The continuance of the depletion leads to loss of bone density (osteopenia), joint pains, palpitations and muscle cramps. As the depletion progresses, bones show symptoms of brittleness and any slight weight-stress can cause fracture. Acute symptoms include tooth decay, insomnia, memory loss, convulsions, hallucinations, abnormal heart rhythms, spinal fractures, weak and brittle nails, deformed bones, numbness and tingling sensation in extremities and muscle cramps.
Calcium deficiency diseasesThe depletion causes diseases like osteoporosis and hypocalcemia. In osteoporosis there is depletion of the mineral from the bones and loss of bone mass. Hypocalcemia is caused due decrease in the serum levels of calcium ions.
Certain situations like hypoparathyroidism, the absence, decrease or ineffectiveness of parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D deficiency, and chronic renal disease cause reduction in the serum levels of the mineral. Other causes of hypocalcemia include medications for hypercalcemia, decreased dietary intake, insufficient sun exposure, anticonvulsant therapy, exposure to hydrofluoric acid and respiratory or metabolic alkalosis.
The hypocalcemia symptoms include seizures, arrhythmias, tetany, appearance of petechiae, tingling sensation in and around the mouth and numbness in extremities. The treatment of hypocalcemia is by removing, treating or withdrawing the causes and also oral/intravenous administration of calcium formulations.
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Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium
by the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, USA.gov
Calcium deficiency diseases and symptoms.