Your body needs calcium to create and maintain strong bones and to perform many other vital functions. The mineral calcium is the most prevalent in the human body, and the majority of calcium in the body is stored in the bones and teeth, where it gives them strength and structure.
Since calcium is essential for so many bodily functions, its deficiency will affect so many other functions of the body including the muscles, bones, teeth, as well as mental health.
There are typically no early symptoms if a deficiency is caused by poor food intake. But reduced bone density, often known as osteopenia, can occur over a longer time in some people. And if there is no adequate treatment; it can lead to osteoporosis or brittle bones.
Other things might be responsible for calcium deficiency apart from the diet. In most cases, health issues or medical procedures like kidney failure, stomach removal, or the usage of specific medications like diuretics cause calcium deficiencies.
What calcium deficiency does to our body?
Muscle problems: Muscle problems associated with calcium deficiency are of different challenges, namely:
- Experiencing muscle aches, cramps, and spasms
- Experiencing pain in the thighs and arms when walking or moving
- Experiencing numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, and legs, as well as around the mouth
These symptoms are transient, they may come and go, but they do not tend to disappear with activity. But sometimes, more serious conditions may indicate a more severe deficiency, which can give rise to convulsions, arrhythmias, or death.
Extreme fatigue: Extreme exhaustion, which includes a lack of energy and a general sense of sluggishness, can be brought on by low calcium levels. Insomnia may result from it as well. Along with fatigue, a calcium deficiency can also cause lightheadedness, vertigo, and brain fog, which is characterized by a lack of concentration, foggy reasoning, and confusion.
Osteopenia and osteoporosis: Although the bones can store calcium well, substantial levels are necessary for them to remain strong. When there is not enough calcium in the body as a whole, the body may take the calcium away from the bones, making them brittle and vulnerable to damage.
Osteopenia, or a decrease in bone mineral density, is a long-term side effect of inadequate calcium intake. Osteoporosis, which dries the bones and makes them more brittle, as well causes pain and posture issues. Osteoporosis and other calcium deficiency-related problems might take years to manifest.
Severe PMS: Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has been associated with low calcium levels. After consuming 500 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily for two months, participants in one 2017 study reported improved mood and decreased rates of fluid retention.
Researchers concluded in 2019 that PMS symptoms may be caused by low levels of calcium and vitamin D during the second half of the menstrual cycle. The group suggested that dietary supplements might aid in symptom relief.
Dental problems: The body draws calcium from places like the teeth when it is deficient in it. Dental issues caused by this could include:
- Decaying teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Inflamed gums
- Brittle tooth roots
- A baby's teeth development might also be hampered by a calcium deficiency.
Depression: There is some evidence linking calcium insufficiency to depression and other mood disorders, but further studies are needed to prove this. Anyone who thinks their depressive symptoms may be caused by a calcium shortage should see a doctor. The doctor may suggest a calcium supplement after determining the patient's calcium levels.