Calcium is found in most dairy products. It is also present in nuts, whole grains, eggs, legumes and leafy vegetables. The calcium consumed is broken down by the digestive system and will facilitate the absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin D has an important role in calcium absorption. The major portion of the calcium that is absorbed will be stored in the bones while the remaining part will be in the blood. Thus, the short term deficiency in calcium may be balanced by utilizing the calcium that is stored in the bones. In case such deficiency persists for a long period of time, the calcium present in the bones begins to deplete and will result to various health problems.
Signs and Symptoms during the Early Stage
A person who has calcium deficiency can easily be identified by observing the nails and skin. Inadequate levels of calcium in the body can make nails brittle and the skin will become dry. Deficiency can also be indicated by yellowing of the teeth. The early signs include sleep disorders, leg tensions, eye twitching, muscle aches, muscle cramps and weakness. Another indication of low levels of calcium is sweating during cold weather. If these symptoms are not discovered at the right time, deficiency for a prolonged period of time can lead to other health problems.
General Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
Hypocalcaemia is primarily related to abnormalities of the skeletal system. The bones become brittle and will be susceptible to fractures. It can cause reduction of the bone density making the bones thinner and weaker. If this is disregarded in the early stages, this can result to some bone disorders such as osteomalacia, osteoporosis and osteopenia. Some symptoms which are less common include miscarriages, hypertension, unusual menstrual cramps and kidney stones.
Deficiency in Calcium which occurs among Women
As age decreases, the absorption of calcium in the body will also decrease. Thus, regular supply of calcium is important through the diet so that the calcium needs of the body will be met. In young girls, calcium deficiency causes problems such as anemia, irregular period, late puberty and menstrual cramps. It has the tendency to reduce the body’s resistance making it vulnerable to different kinds of infections. During pregnancy, the requirement of calcium is at its highest level. It is essential for the bone formation of babies. Therefore, women must consume the necessary amount of calcium while they are pregnant. Some symptoms which occur in women after giving birth due to calcium deficiency include extended lying-in period, severe bleeding and lack of breast milk.
In menopausal women, lack of calcium in the diet can be a risk for osteopenia and then can eventually lead to osteoporosis. So, adequate calcium should be incorporated in the diet so that bone loss is prevented during the menopausal stage.
Deficiency of Calcium among Children
Both infants and adolescents require higher amount of calcium when compared to the rest of the age groups. They need additional calcium for bone growth and formation. Every now and then, kids are born to have deficiency in calcium since their mothers were deficient of calcium during pregnancy. These kids tend to have weak bones which will not grow well. They are also susceptible to diarrhea and indigestion. If during the younger years, adequate amounts of calcium are consumed, serious conditions such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis will not occur during the later years. In children, osteomalacia is usually known as rickets which can result to the bone softening and can cause fractures.