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Recognizing calcium deficiency: Key symptoms to watch for

Recognizing calcium deficiency: Key symptoms to watch for Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Calcium deficiency is a very common problem. According to statistics, women suffer from it twice as often. The lack of this element leads to serious disruptions in the body. Most commonly, this threatens that the bones become fragile and can break even with minor impacts.

RBC-Ukraine writes about how to timely recognize calcium deficiency, according to Vogue Italia.

Why calcium is important for health

Scientific studies show that low calcium intake leads to health problems. Calcium is fundamental for the health of bones, teeth, skin, and muscles.

"Although calcium is one of the most important minerals and one of the most well-known nutrients in our diet, calcium deficiency is widespread. It is considered that almost half of the world's population suffers from calcium deficiency," says nutrition expert Uma Naidoo.

This percentage represents about 30% among men and 60% among women. However, most people with calcium deficiency are unaware that they have it.

It is believed that deficiency is more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries than high-income countries.

9 symptoms of calcium deficiency to pay attention to

It is better to detect calcium deficiency at an early stage since it becomes harder to address when it has progressed. Periodically getting blood tests to check the levels of this element is important.

However, there are subtle symptoms that may indicate a deficiency. Pay attention to the following signs:

  • thin, soft, and easily breakable nails
  • dry, rough, flaky skin
  • excessive hair loss
  • susceptibility of teeth to cavities palpitations
  • insomnia
  • thyroid,
  • liver and kidney imbalance
  • leg muscle cramps
  • tingling sensation in lips, hands, and feet

The dangers of calcium deficiency

"Chronic calcium deficiency can lead to several serious problems, including osteoporosis and fractures. It can also negatively impact the body's ability to regulate nerve signals, as well as the function of the heart and muscles," notes dietitian Marisa Moore.

The most common consequences of calcium deficiency are:

  • osteoporosis - a disease where bones become fragile and prone to fractures
  • osteopenia - a general loss of bone density and mass
  • hypocalcemia - low calcium levels in the blood, leading to numbness, tingling, and muscle cramps

Regarding the heart, research indicates that calcium homeostasis is related to heart cells, and thus, maintaining an adequate level of this mineral in the body can reduce the likelihood of arrhythmias.

Calcium also contributes to vascular function, minimizing blood clotting risk and regulating blood pressure.

How to restore normal calcium levels

A specific diet is prescribed by a doctor for the affected individual. Typically, it includes orange juice, some grains (rice, oats), low-fat milk and yogurt, chicory, arugula, artichokes, broccoli, turnips, cabbage, spinach, sardines and salmon, chia seeds, dried fruits, and almonds.

If necessary, a doctor may recommend calcium supplements.

Read also about the habit that reduces the risk of heart attack by three times.

Previously, we wrote about what to eat to reduce the risk of heart disease.