For most people, there are usually no obvious signs of a calcium deficiency until osteoporosis is discovered. Most of the symptoms that might occur due to a deficiency would be seen only if calcium levels are low in the blood (although the body is very good at keeping the blood calcium levels steady). Fortunately, taking more calcium is very effective for treating calcium deficiencies.
What Is Calcium Deficiency?
Many people do not get enough calcium. Unfortunately, there are not usually any obvious symptoms of a calcium deficiency, and people can go for years in a calcium-deficient state before any noticeable problems occur. Calcium deficiencies are usually easily treatable.
Possible Signs of Calcium Deficiency
Typically, there are no obvious signs of a calcium deficiency for most people until osteoporosis is discovered, either through bone scans (or other similar tests) or though a broken bone.
Most of the calcium in the human body is stored in the bones and the teeth. While many people think of bones and teeth as being permanent, unchanging structures, they are actually being constantly broken down and rebuilt. It is absolutely essential to keep a certain steady level of calcium in the blood. If blood calcium levels are too low, the body will break down bone and teeth to increase the blood calcium levels. If the blood levels are high, then the body uses the extra calcium to rebuild bone and teeth.
Most of the symptoms that might occur due to a calcium deficiency would be seen only if calcium levels are low in the blood. Because the body is very good at keeping the blood calcium levels steady (often at the expense of bone strength), most people will never experience any symptoms of a deficiency until their bones are significantly weakened.
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed October 21 2008.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: calcium (9/23/2005). NIH Web site. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp. Accessed October 13, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309063507/html/index.html. Accessed October 21, 2008.
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