Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, and it constitutes about 2% of the total body weight. Most of it is found in the skeleton, while the rest is found in teeth, blood plasma, soft tissues, and extracellular fluids. : extracellular fluids), The body uses it to build bones and teeth, and for many very important and necessary functions such as sending and receiving nerve signals, helping to secrete hormones and enzymes, maintaining a normal heart rate, blood clotting, muscle contraction and relaxation, and others. Also, eating adequate amounts of calcium prevents osteoporosis, especially in women, and it is very important for children to get their full daily needs of calcium to prevent rickets, and for their bones to grow normally and have an ideal density. .It is worth noting that calcium has other medicinal uses, as the doctor dispenses calcium in order to treat other conditions, such as: high magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium in the blood, and there is evidence that calcium helps prevent high blood pressure, in addition to that calcium and vitamin D combined Prevents breast cancer in women.
lack of calcium
Calcium deficiency occurs when its levels in the blood are lower than the normal level, and the normal level of calcium in the blood in adults usually ranges from (8.8 – 10.4) mg / dL, and the person is at risk of calcium deficiency and its accompanying symptoms when its level is less than 8.8 mg / dL It is worth noting that children and adolescents usually have higher levels of calcium, while women are more at risk of calcium deficiency than men, especially at menopause, because the lack of estrogen at that age causes a woman’s bones to thin faster.
Calcium deficiency in infants
Calcium is transferred from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy through transplacental calcium pumps, and this process results in higher levels of calcium in the blood of the fetus compared to the mother. In the blood 24 hours after birth, to return to normal levels by the age of two weeks.
- Maternal diabetes.
- Small size of the infant for his age.
- Drinking cow’s milk or infant formula that contains high levels of phosphates.
- Nervousness, apnea or slowed breathing, and tachycardia are symptoms of calcium deficiency in infants.
Causes of calcium deficiency
- Not eating enough calcium-containing foods, especially in childhood.
- Malnutrition, or malabsorption.
- Low levels of vitamin D in the body, as vitamin D increases calcium absorption.
- Some medications can interfere with calcium and cause it to be less absorbed, such as phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin, corticosteroids, and medications used to treat high calcium levels.
- Food intolerance, or sensitivity to foods rich in calcium, such as lactose intolerance and milk allergy, as people with milk allergy or lactose intolerance cannot eat calcium-rich milk and all its products, which puts them at risk of deficiency.
- Hormonal changes, especially in postmenopausal women.
- Hypoparathyroidism, in which sufferers lack the parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium levels in the blood.
- Genetic causes.
Calcium deficiency symptoms
Symptoms of calcium deficiency usually do not appear immediately, but it may cause serious symptoms over time. Not eating enough calcium leads to the body balancing its levels in the blood from the bones, which causes over time to lose calcium from the bones and their fragility, and these symptoms include what Come:
- Osteoporosis: Calcium deficiency, especially in women and children, leads to the emergence of serious health problems, including exposure to bone pain, convulsions, osteoporosis and easy fracture.
- Dental problems such as exposure to caries.
- Neurological symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, memory loss, numbness and tingling in the extremities.
- Tingling in the face.
- muscle spasm
- Brittle, weak nails, slow hair growth.
- Dizziness and light-headedness.
- A slowing of the heartbeat.
Calcium deficiency treatment
Calcium deficiency can be easily treated by increasing the intake of calcium-rich foods; Such as milk and its derivatives, sardines, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, juices, soybeans, breakfast cereals or chips or what is known (corn flakes) fortified with calcium, and bread fortified with calcium, and the doctor can resort to controlling calcium levels by prescribing calcium injections Regularly, if diet changes and dietary calcium supplements are not enough, and regular exposure to sunlight will raise vitamin D levels, which in turn increases calcium absorption.
- ↑ Ananya Mandal, “What is Calcium?”, News-Medical, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ↑ “calcium in diet”, Medlineplus, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ^ a b c c c h x April Khan, Ana Gotter (25-7-2012), “hypocalcemia”, healthline, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ↑ “Calcium”, WebMD, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ↑ Steven A Abrams, “Neonatal hypocalcemia”, UpToDate, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ↑ Melissa Conrad Stöppler, “Hypocalcemia Symptoms & Signs”, MedicineNet.com, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ↑ “Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods”, WebMD, Retrieved 9-26-2017. Edited.
- ↑ Video about calcium deficiency.
What is calcium deficiency?