Calcium Deficiency Symptoms
Calcium deficiency symptoms are typically noted in specific groups with a higher risk. These groups include vegetarians and lactose intolerant individuals who don't consume milk products notably high in calcium, postmenopausal women whose decrease in estrogen levels adversely affects calcium absorption and other people who either don't consume adequate amounts of calcium through diet and supplements or who otherwise may not effectively assimilate the mineral in their bodies. Calcium deficiency symptoms may be adequately prevented with a diet rich in dairy products, fortified orange juice, fortified cereal and grain products, salmon with the bones, spinach and other green leafy vegetables as well as many other foods. Calcium supplements are also a typical means of getting adequate supplies of this vital mineral.
- Osteoporosis. Bone loss, or osteoporosis, is probably the most notable of the calcium deficiency symptoms list. Bone loss typically occurs in menopausal or postmenopausal women whose lowered estrogen levels reduce the absorption of calcium. Because the body will draw calcium from the bones to serve the needs of the heart and other organs that rely on it, osteopenia (beginning stages of osteoporosis) and osteoporosis should be watched for, and evaluated, regularly by a health care practitioner. The majority of people who experience mild to significant bone loss are women, though men and children may be affected as well.
- Hypertension. High blood pressure is also considered one of the calcium deficiency symptoms. Because adequate calcium stores are needed for the electrical actions of the cardiovascular system to work appropriately, monitoring heart function as well as levels of calcium are important.
- Colon issues. Polyps in the colon may develop from inadequate levels of calcium in addition to other dietary or hereditary factors. Higher intakes of low-fat foods rich in calcium may be beneficial as a preventative for colon cancer.
- Nerve problems. Because the mineral calcium works in conjunction with magnesium and vitamin D to regulate the electrical impulses of the body, muscle twitches and spasms may occur in individuals with improper calcium levels.
Calcium is a self-regulating mineral. If the organs are deficient, it will draw from the bones where it is stored and send it where it's needed. But just as you can have too little calcium, there is also the very real possibility of supplementing with too much. Consultation with a health care professional to assess your personal needs is a good plan.