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Top 5 Calcium Deficiency Symptoms Exposed

What is Calcium Deficiency

Calcium-Deficiency-SymptomsI take milk and calcium-rich foods regularly and that is not just for the fun of it. There is a condition in which there is a low level of calcium in the blood, leading to a host of calcium deficiency symptoms.

The medical term for this condition is hypocalcemia and it comes with a lot of complications. Unlike the many of the other deficiencies, that of calcium is not solely or primarily connected to the nutritional status.

Calcium Deficiency Symptoms Exposed

In medicine, calcium deficiency is a much more serious condition, and the blood is considered to be hypocalcemic when the serum levels of the mineral is less than 2.1 mmol/L. Calcium deficiency has a wide range of effects and you should never treat it with levity.

What Causes Calcium Deficiency

Owing to the fact that calcium is a macronutrient and not a micronutrient like zinc, copper and cobalt, its deficiency is not caused by or limited to nutrition alone. Apart from nutritional insufficiency and eating disorders, the following are equally important causes of calcium deficiency:

  • Malfunction or absence of the parathyroid glands (these glands regulate calcium metabolism in the body)

This happens in conditions like hypoparathyroidism, congenital diseases or surgical removal of the parathyroid glands (parathyroidectomy) or the thyroid glands (thyroid glands).

  • Exposure to heavy elements like mercury.
  • Exposure to chemical substances like hydrofluoric acid.
  • Excessive intake of magnesium.
  • Systemic diseases (chronic or acute renal failure, infection of the pancreas, tumor lysis syndrome and intestinal malabsorption syndrome).
  • Chelation therapy with exposure to toxic substances.

All of those listed above are all conditions capable of triggering the manifestation of calcium deficiency symptoms.

The Most Common Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

Just as there are varied causes of calcium deficiency, the same goes for the symptoms too. However, the following happen to be the most commonly and easily observed:

  • Changes in the skin pattern and coloration.

In medical parlance, these are referred to as petechia (spots that come on and off) and purpura (widened and bruised areas).

  • Tingling sensation: especially around the mouth, lips, fingers and the feet.

Doctors say this is the earliest symptom of calcium deficiency. You will feel like someone is pricking you with pins and needles. Do not ignore this sensation if you have one.

  • Tetany

These are spasms occurring in various muscle groups of the body, especially in the hands.

  • Laryngospasm

This is an involuntary and uncontrollable spasm of the cords of the larynx.

  • Arrhythmias

These are irregular beats of the heart.

It is very important to state that laryngospasms and arrhythmias can lead to death in a very short period of time and are considered to be medical emergencies.

What Can Be Done If You Suffer From Calcium Deficiency

As hinted above, the solution to calcium deficiency is not solely nutritional. It depends on the cause of the deficiency. The best way to manage calcium deficiency is to refer to a specialist.

In proper medical settings, there are various steps that are taken to manage hypocalcemia, some of which include the intravenous infusion of calcium gluconate. It has to be stressed that you cannot manage the calcium deficiency symptoms by simply drinking a jug of milk.

Reference links:

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-QuickFacts/
http://services.medicines.org.uk/assethosting/assets/printable/c/a/calcium%20phosphate-colecalciferol/printable.2523_278_459.pdf
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241546123_chap4.pdf

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