Are You Calcium Deficient?
Due to improper dietary choices in today’s modern world, calcium deficiency is becoming a major issue, especially in women. Besides other aspects, the excess intake of packaged and processed foods causes decreased absorption of calcium in one’s regular diet.
Also, many other factors such as low vitamin D levels, low magnesium, chronic kidney disease, bariatric surgeries, and chemotherapy can cause calcium deficiency. Further, some other conditions that make women more susceptible to calcium deficiency, are the phases of pregnancy and lactation, during which time, the demand for calcium increases.
Signs And Symptoms Of Low Calcium
Calcium deficiency results in a decrease of bone density leading to osteoporosis, which in turn increases the risks of fractures.
Low calcium levels in the body causes a decrease in immunity levels, making the body prone to infections. But by eating healthy, calcium-rich foods, infections can be kept at bay.
Muscle cramps are one of the early signs of calcium deficiency. Muscle aches mostly occur in the thighs area, due to low calcium levels in the body.
Decreased sleep patterns occurs due to imbalance in the secretion of the melatonin hormone levels, which is regulated by calcium in the body.
As 99 per cent of calcium is stored in the bones and teeth, these parts of the body are immediately affected, if calcium levels decrease. Calcium deficiency causes erosion of dental enamel, increases sensitivity and eventually causes dental caries.
Low calcium causes weakness, increased fatigue and laziness due to frequent episodes of muscle aches. Fatigue is exhibited in postpartum for women after childbirth and in the form of decreased breast milk secretions, extreme tiredness, poor concentration, etc.
Natural Sources Of Calcium
- Milk and dairy products
- Salmon fish
- Dried figs
- White beans
- Sesame seeds
- Fortified oats
- Leafy green vegetables
Optimal calcium supplements, eating the right diet and following a regular exercise pattern helps in maintaining normal calcium levels. Besides, very low calcium levels in the body can be treated with certain calcium supplements. Women below 50 years of age should take 1000mg of calcium per day and women above 50 should take 1200mg per day. However, it’s important to remember that the intake of calcium in excess levels may cause serious side effects by affecting the kidney, gastrointestinal system, and cardiovascular system.