When the calcium content in the human blood becomes very low, a disease caused by calcium deficiency might kick in which is known as hypocalcemia. Alterations in the brain, cataracts, dental changes, and osteoporosis which might lead to brittle bones can be caused by a long-term calcium deficiency.
What are the primary causes of calcium deficiency?
Though there are no early symptoms shown by calcium deficiency, it still might become life-threatening without treatment over a long period of time. Health problems such as the use of certain medications like diuretics, the removal of the stomach, and kidney failure are some of the primary causes of calcium deficiency.
Insufficient calcium intake: A diet that is low in calcium can lead to calcium deficiency over time.
Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium, so a lack of this vitamin can lead to calcium deficiency.
Malabsorption: Certain medical conditions, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, can prevent the body from absorbing calcium properly.
Medications: Certain medications, such as glucocorticoids and anticonvulsants, can interfere with calcium absorption and lead to deficiency.
An overall feeling of sluggishness, lack of energy, and even insomnia can result from low levels of calcium causing extreme fatigue. Characterized by confusion, forgetfulness, and a lack of focus, fatigue which is associated with a Calcium deficiency is also known to involve brain fog, dizziness, and lightheadedness.
Parathyroid gland dysfunction: The parathyroid glands help regulate calcium levels in the body, and problems with these glands can lead to calcium deficiency.
Tingling and numbness in the legs, feet, arms, and hands and as well as around the mouth, pain in the arms and the thighs when moving or walking, and spasms, cramps, and muscle aches are some of the muscle problems that arise due to calcium deficiency. These problems, if kept untreated, might lead to severe conditions like arrhythmias, convulsions, or even death.
Chronic kidney disease: The kidneys play a key role in regulating calcium levels in the body, and chronic kidney disease can interfere with this process and lead to calcium deficiency.
Alcoholism: Alcohol abuse can lead to calcium deficiency by impairing calcium absorption and increasing calcium excretion.
Skin inflammation: Psoriasis or eczema which can lead to dry or itchy patches, alopecia which causes hair to fall out in patches, coarse hair, brittle, broken or dry nails, and dry skin are some of the symptoms of low levels of calcium affecting the skin and nail of an individual.
The risk of getting a fracture increases as the bones are destabilized due to a lack of calcium intake in the human body. In order to keep blood levels up the human body uses Calcium from the bones when an individual does not consume enough Calcium from outside sources such as supplements or food. This can also lead to calcium deficiency due to the calcium present in the bones getting used up.
With the chemical formula of CaCO3, calcium carbonate is a common substance found in the minerals aragonite and calcite in rocks. Calcium carbonate is most popular in limestone which is a type of sedimentary rock that consists of calcite.
Natural Sources of Calcium Carbonate:
Limestone: It is widely used as a building material and as a raw material for the manufacture of cement, lime, and other materials.
Marble: It is often used in construction and as a decorative stone.
Chalk: It is commonly used as a writing surface and in art.
Eggs: Eggs are a good source of calcium carbonate, with eggshells containing about 95% calcium carbonate.
Oyster shells: Oyster shells are a good source of calcium carbonate, and are often used as a calcium supplement for animals.
Snail shells: Snail shells are also a good source of calcium carbonate, and are sometimes used as a decorative item.
Antacid tablets: Antacid tablets contain calcium carbonate and are used to relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.
Applications of Calcium Carbonate in health and diet
Calcium carbonate has seen a resurgence as a colour retainer and a food preservative and is also used in the production of calcium oxide as well as toothpaste. On maintenance hemodialysis, calcium carbonate is used therapeutically as a phosphate binder. Prescribed particularly for non-dialysis chronic kidney disease, calcium carbonate is the most common form of phosphate binder.
Bone health: Calcium is an essential mineral for building and maintaining strong bones. Calcium carbonate is a common form of calcium supplement used to help prevent and treat osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle.
Antacid: Calcium carbonate is commonly used as an antacid to neutralize excess stomach acid. It works by neutralizing the acid in the stomach and increasing the pH to a less acidic level.
Dietary supplement: Calcium carbonate is often added to dietary supplements to provide a source of calcium for people who may not get enough calcium in their diet.
Food fortification: Calcium carbonate is sometimes added to food products, such as orange juice and tofu, to increase their calcium content.
Calcium-enriched foods: Calcium carbonate is used in the production of calcium-enriched foods, such as almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk, to provide a source of calcium.
Natural sources of calcium often have a certain quantity of lead. Approved in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, and the EU, Calcium Carbonate is used as a colour, stabilizer, anticaking agent, and acidity regulator.
Available as an over-the-counter (OTC) calcium supplement, calcium citrate is a mineral that is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium citrate also helps to support hormone function, nerve health, muscles, and blood vessels. Calcium citrate and calcium carbonate are the two forms of calcium supplements on the market.
For people who have digestive issues or take heartburn medication, calcium citrate is a better choice of calcium supplementation since it does not require any stomach acid for absorption. Gummies, powder, and tablets are some forms in which calcium citrate is available.
Though calcium citrate supplementation works best when taken with food, it can be taken on an empty stomach as well.
Applications to highlight:
Vetted by a healthcare professional such as a doctor, pharmacist, or registered dietitian, the use of calcium citrate supplements should be individualized according to the patient’s requirement. Preventing, curing, and treating the disease is not intended with calcium acetate supplements. Multiple systems throughout the body are supported by the essential mineral, calcium.
The proper functioning of the muscles, nervous system and heart requires the maintenance of the proper level of calcium in the human body. Calcium supplementation has several benefits including potentially reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, Preeclampsia, heart disease, and cancer other than making strong bones for which it is best known.
Healthy weight maintenance is also supported by calcium supplementation. Some research has focused on whether calcium supplementation could prevent age-related Bone Mineral Density (BMD) loss and fractures due to calcium’s known role in establishing strong and healthy bones. There are mixed results that have been obtained from the research conducted which is quite unfortunate.
The risk of a condition of osteoporosis which is related to bone health damage may be reduced by the proper supplementation of calcium citrate along with Vitamin D. Some research has been conducted exploring calcium’s potential to reduce the risk of cancer due to the calcium’s protective effect on cells.
Research has also been conducted based on calcium stability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases based on calcium’s ability to reduce lipid absorption.
Certain muscle diseases like latent tetany, hypoparathyroidism which is caused by the decreased activity of the parathyroid gland, rickets or osteomalacia which causes weak bones, and osteoporosis due to bone loss are all caused due to the lack of calcium content in the human blood flow.
These diseases can be cured or treated with the help of medications containing calcium citrate. The medication will restore the calcium content that is required for the healthy functioning of the human body.
Constipation, bloating and gas are some of the common side effects which can be caused by the intake of calcium citrate supplements. Taking the supplement with a meal or dividing the intake of the supplement into smaller doses throughout the day can reduce the symptoms or the risk of getting any side effects.
Metabolic syndrome is related to macular degeneration kidney stones gastrointestinal disease and heart disease are some of the rarely associated side effects of calcium supplementation which can lead to more severe conditions. Some researchers claim that calcium supplementation may cause other issues instead of reducing bone fractures.
Unusual tiredness, weakness, increased urination or thirst, headache, muscle or bone pain, mood or mental changes, unusual weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, or nausea are some of the unlikely noticeable side effects, which if occur, should require immediate medical attention.
- What causes a deficiency of calcium?
Not getting enough calcium from the diet is the most common cause of calcium deficiency. Eating a high-protein diet that doesn’t include enough dairy products or leafy greens or having celiac disease (gluten intolerance) or being lactose intolerant are the other causes of calcium deficiency.
- What are the primary symptoms of calcium deficiency?
Tingling and numbness in the legs, feet, arms, and hands and as well as around the mouth, pain in the arms and the thighs when moving or walking, and spasms, cramps, and muscle aches are some of the muscle problems that arise due to calcium deficiency.
- What does calcium do for your body?
In order to maintain and build strong bones, the human body requires a proper amount of calcium. In order to function properly, the nerves, muscles, and heart of a human being also need a proper amount of calcium. The protection against high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer are some of the benefits that Vitamin D alongside calcium can provide beyond just bone health.
- What are the diseases that can be treated by the administration of calcium supplements?
Certain muscle diseases like latent tetany, hypoparathyroidism which is caused by the decreased activity of the parathyroid gland, rickets or osteomalacia which causes weak bones, and osteoporosis due to bone loss are all caused due to the lack of calcium content in the human blood flow. These diseases can be cured or treated with the help of medications containing calcium citrate. The medication will restore the calcium content that is required for the healthy functioning of the human body.
- What foods are calcium in?
Almonds, canned salmon with bones and sardines, edamame or young green soybeans which are used to make Tofu, which is made with calcium sulfate, winter squash, calcium-fortified orange juice, yoghurt, cheese, and dairy products from sheep, goat, and cow, and fortified plant-based milk from rice, soy, almond are some of the food sources that are good in calcium.
- What is calcium carbonate also known as?
Being the most commonly used filler for PVC, Calcium carbonate is also known as chalk which is mined as calcite.