Calcium deformities also include; Muscle cramps followed by muscle aches, especially in the thighs and calf muscles, is an early indication of low calcium levels.
Frequent illness; calcium seems to play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune muscle as well. It has been observed that those deficient in calcium are more likely to acquire common respiratory and intestinal infections. Deficiency of calcium reduces the body's resistance against pathogen attack.
Fatigue; bone and muscle aches generally causes weakness in calcium deficient people. But low calcium levels are also linked to insomnia, fear and mental derangements that increase stress and fatigue. Person appears pale and feels tired or lazy all the time. Fatigue is also a common symptom in women who develop calcium deficiency after childbirth.
They are more likely to suffer from lack of breast milk, poor concentration and extreme tiredness. Therefore , it is advisable that pregnant women should get a regular supply of 1000-1200 mg calcium every day. Calcium is required for mineralisation of bones to keep them strong as susceptibility to osteoporosis and fractures.
The term osteoporosis comes from a Greek word which means “porous”. It occurs in elderly people, women affected twice as commonly as men. One major manifestation of osteoporosis is a fracture, and lower backache. In this, the mass, or amount of bone in the skeleton is reduced. In every individual there is a process of bone formation and bone breakdown (resorption). But when bone resorption > bone formation, it leads to osteoporosis.
There are many factors which lead to causes of osteoporosis; long term intakes of calcium may be a major risk factor. The efficiency of calcium absorption appears to decrease with age, and higher intakes are needed to achieve calcium equilibrium. Generous intakes of calcium earlier in life may prevent osteoporosis by promoting development of bones that are more resistance to the losses that accompany aging, in addition to dietary calcium, several other factors influence the development of osteoporosis alterations in hormones, particularly estrogen, heredity, race and smoking and lack of physical activity. Females are 8 times more at risk of getting osteoporosis especially after menopause because estrogen levels fall down, over several years following menopause these small amounts can add up to considerable loss from skeleton.
Regular physical activity and diet containing adequate calcium; more adequate intakes throughout adult life either from foods, supplements or both, help maintain a larger bone mass to reduce the possibility of osteoporosis.
Osteomalacia is a bone disorder in which quality affected but same defective bone mineral deposition takes place. Associated with vitamin D deficiency and status. It is more common in women with multiple pregnancies, prolonged lactation and low sunshine exposure. The softened bones of children and young adults with osteomalacia can lead to bowing during growth, especially in weight-bearing bones of the legs.
In Osteoporosis quantity decreases but quality and quantity remains same, in simple terms the body constantly absorbs and replaces bone tissue with osteoporosis, new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal. Characterized by increased bone removal. It results from hormonal imbalance, inadequate calcium age and long term calcium inadequacy. It is more common in post menopausal women
After age 50, one in two women and one in four men will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetimes. Another 30% have low bone density that puts them at risk of developing osteoporosis. This is called osteopenia.
Dietary calcium is generally safe, but more isn’t necessarily better, and excessive calcium doesn’t provide extra bone protection.
Toxicity of calcium intake takes place when the consumption exceeds more than 2000mg/day. Excess calcium in blood is called ‘hypercalcemia’. It rarely occurs due to the eating patterns. It is found in people who ingest calcium and vitamin D supplements in large quantities over a prolonged period without medical advice. It can also be caused due to overproduction of parathyroid hormone. It is characterized by increased blood calcium levels, calcification of joints, muscles, liver, pancreas, heart, kidney or lungs and painful arthritis and hardened arteries.
Calcium supplements cause few, if any, side effects. But side effects can sometimes occur, including gas, constipation and bloating. In general, calcium carbonate is the most constipating. You may need to try a few different brands or types of calcium supplements to find one that you tolerate the best.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.