A lack of calcium in the body, the symptoms of which spread to almost all organs and systems, can lead to permanent deformities and disorders. Calcium (Ca) is an extremely important element in our body. It not only gives strength to our bones, teeth and nails, but also is a regulator of blood pressure, helps in the transmission of nervous and muscular arousal, and is actively involved in metabolic processes. The article will tell in detail the main signs of deficiency, point out the most useful sources of the macroelement, as well as learn in detail its dose of proper use.
The role of calcium in humans
Calcium is one of the few elements that every cell of human tissues and organs uses. According to statistics, most of the population does not receive the necessary amount of it from food, so you need to know what role in the body is Ca.
- Norm Ca activates the coagulability factor of blood providing permeability of cell membranes for their nutrition.
- Supports the cardiovascular system by reducing the heart muscles by adjusting the rhythm.
- Participates in neuromuscular conduction.
- Normalizes metabolism.
- It is a prevention of colon polyps and onco diseases.
- Prevention of allergic manifestations.
- The decrease in concentration causes the body to take the necessary nutrient from the depot – bones, enamel. The result: the formation of pathologies of the teeth, various kinds of microcracks, fractures.
- Controls normal intestinal motility, preventing constipation.
- Regulates the production of parathyroid hormones (calcitonin).
- Improves sleep.
Compensation reduces bone hardness, leading to the development of a disease like osteoporosis.
The human body is a very sensitive, organized structure. Lack of or not mastering at least one component for exchange can lead to an imbalance of many systems. Therefore, an important role in the formation of Ca deficiency is played by the reduction in the use of magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and vitamin K2, which are actively involved in the assimilation of the macrocell.
Calcium deficiency in the body: causes of deficiency
- The absorption of Ca directly depends on the rate of magnesium, vitamin K2 (MK7), these two elements are closely interrelated. With their lack, Ca does not arrive in the right places, but has only two ways. The first – leaching in high content with the kidneys, including from the bones, the second – is deposited in the muscles – these are convulsions, organs – calcification, vessels – arrhythmia, joints – arthritis.
- An insufficient amount of calcium in the body can be associated not only with the restriction of its intake from food, but also serve as a signal of vitamin D hypovitaminosis.
- In women, a decrease in calcium in the blood is observed during menopause. The change in estrogen production affects the non-retention of nutrient in the bone tissue. The less female sex hormones, the greater the loss of substance.
- Another reduction factor is older age. The older we get, the more difficult it is for our body to absorb calcium from food, so after 50 years it is recommended to drink biological additives K2 (MK7) or learn how to prepare an enzymatic nato dish, where K2 (MK7) is a lot.
- An unbalanced diet plays an important role in the absorption of nutrients, this phenomenon is also called malabsorption (impaired absorption). The joint use of a large amount of sugars together with a macro element leads to a deterioration in the absorption due to the formation of an insoluble compound. And vice versa – the use of low-fat dairy products reduces the ability of the body to take calcium from food.
Important: Not only simple sugars affect the speed and quality of absorption. Excessive consumption of foods rich in alkaline acid (spinach, chocolate, soybeans, almonds) also leads to the formation of insoluble calcium salts. Drinking alcohol and coffee can increase the washing out of an element along with urine and feces.
- Sedentary lifestyle does not delay nutrient, which has a common cause of lack of calcium in the body and the manifestation of symptoms.
Diseases of Ca Deficiency
Consider diseases and functional disorders that lead to hypocalcemia (low Ca content in blood plasma).
- Renal failure – in pathology there is an increased elimination of the element in the urine.
- Hypoparathyroidism is an insufficient functioning of the parathyroid glands, the hormones of which are responsible for the absorption of calcium and its metabolism.
- Taking drugs – many medicines can affect calcium levels. Such substances include antibiotics, diuretic, steroid hormones, chemotherapy drugs for cancer.
- Inflammation of the digestive tract – disorders of the digestive organs lead to functional disorders in digestion and assimilation of food, which can lead to hypocalcemia.
People with lactose deficiency, strict vegetarians, adolescents in the period of active growth, pregnant women, women with painful and abundant periods, women in menopause are subject to an increased risk of developing calcium deficiency. These groups need special control, they require an increased use of not only foods rich in the element.
Calcium deficiency is expressed in the following symptoms:
- Cramps. The occurrence of night cramps in the calves or morning time), less often reduction can be observed in the area of the hips, hands and armpits.
- Dry skin and the development of chronic itching, also among the manifestations of deficiency include psoriatic changes.
- Fragile nails.
- Increased fatigue and feeling of chronic fatigue.
- Damage to the enamel – the teeth begin to break down, multiple caries appear due to the thinning of the enamel. By the way, a significant darkening may also be a symptom of a deficiency.
- Fractures – weakening of the bone tissue provokes an increase in injuries.
- Sleep disturbance – according to research results, it was found that blood calcium levels are directly related to the phase of deep sleep. This phenomenon is probably due to his participation in the synthesis of the hormone tryptophan (which is responsible for the full-fledged rest).
Also, reduced nutrient intake can cause a plateau effect when losing weight or reducing the effectiveness of weight loss. Calcium, which is contained in adipose tissue, helps regulate metabolism, and is also responsible for the removal of fat (in fact, fat cells with a high mineral content are more efficiently split). That is why, in compliance with the diet, it is necessary to consume enough foods with a high content of nutrient.
Often there are paresthesias – goose bumps, tingling, burning or numbness. Possible unbalance of all the activities of the central nervous system with the appearance of tremor, memory impairment, confusion.
Calcium deficiency in women
The body of the beautiful half of humanity is protected by nature from the loss of calcium with the help of estrogen. They contribute to its preservation in bones and enamel, therefore hormonal changes directly affect the development of deficiency.
During pregnancy, the mother has to consume calcium not only for the needs of her own body, but also to provide the baby for normal growth and development. And the nature is cunning enough – if the nutrient is not enough, then it will give up all the forces to preserve the fetus, actively taking reserves of the substance from the bones and teeth. That is why during pregnancy, expectant mothers quickly destroy teeth.
Symptoms of hypocalcemia in women are almost the same as men. The only difference is the change in the flow of menstruation. The phenomenon of PMS is intensifying – increased pain during menstruation, a violation of the cycle (if no problems were observed in women before).
Fact: To facilitate the course of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), not only calcium supplements will help, but also the introduction of supplements containing magnesium and vitamin B6 in the diet.
How to determine the lack of calcium
Blood must contain a certain amount of the element. Symptoms may not always be associated with a deficiency of Ca. To accurately determine the needs, it is enough to pass a simple biochemical blood test with a concentration setting. This method is effective, but only indicates a lack of a macroelement, whereas its causes are important to establish for the complete elimination of hypocalcemia.
Sometimes, an analysis can be assigned to the determination of Ca ions, somewhere from 1 to 1.5 mmol / l, but it is less accurate and more expensive to conduct (it is preferable to choose the simplest option).
Blood norm Ca is approximately from 2.2 to 2.8 mmol / l. This is only 1 percent of 100, the bulk is stored in the bones and enamels of the teeth.
On the eve of the test, it is recommended not to overeat, take alcohol, drugs that increase Ca, make droppers with a large number of solutions, before analyzing for 30 minutes, refrain from cigarettes and physical activity. Otherwise, the result will not be correct. With a low test, do not panic, but wait for additional analyzes:
- phosphorus content (without it the exchange of calcium is disturbed, they are inseparable);
- magnesium and vitamin D;
- development of the parathyroid hormone of the parathyroid gland, its increase reduces the concentration of the element;
- make a densitometry about the state of bone density.
Based on the diagnosis, the doctor will determine why nutritional deficiencies. For example, a sufficient amount of food is supplied with food, and in the urine its elevated level or blood plasma gives a normal result of Ca, and densitometry shows the discharged bones. There are many reasons, the specialist will find the main one, prescribe the treatment.
Features of hypocalcemia in children and adolescents
Young body requires an increased intake of Ca. This is due to active growth, development of the neuromuscular system, increased physical activity. The adolescent period recommends daily allowances considerably exceeding the dosages of adults, since this age gives a sharp jump in development and hormonal changes.
An important influence on the deficiency of macronutrient also has an unhealthy diet, which in many children without parental control turns into endless consumption of “junk food” – fast food, sugary carbonated drinks, etc. Such food is rich only in fats and simple carbohydrates, with a meager amount of vitamins and minerals.
How much should you consume an element of children by age.
- From birth to six months when feeding only breast milk – 200 mg.
- From 6 months to a year – 260 mg.
- Od 1 to 3 years – 750 mg.
- From 4 to 9 years old – 1000 mg (the daily rate for an adult up to 50 -55 years, after -1500 mg.).
- 10 – 19 years old – 1300 mg.
Symptoms of lack of calcium in the body of a child appear fairly quickly, often the first signs of deficiency are cramps in the calf muscles at night, restless sleep. Children become irritable, may have tremors or twitches. Adolescents (especially asthenic girls) often have fainting.
Hypocalcemia of a young age affects the work of the cardiovascular system, provoking the appearance of a heartbeat and slowing down the rhythm.
The most dangerous sign of mineral deficiency is rickets, which can lead to multiple irreversible skeletal deformations.
What foods contain calcium
If the symptoms of hypocalcemia are in the early stages, without a transition to serious clinical diseases, then the shortage is successfully eliminated by introducing into the diet a list of calcium-rich foods.
The most famous sources of mineral are dairy products. Sufficient use of cottage cheese, cheese allows you to fill the daily need of the body. For example, in order for an adult to get his daily allowance, it is enough to eat 160 grams of cream cheese (this is in the complete absence of Ca in other products of the menu). The element derived from milk is well absorbed by the body, and such food is an excellent source of protein.
But not only milk can cover the needs of the body, especially since there is a significant stratum of the population with lactase deficiency (intolerance of milk sugar – lactose). Many vegetarians also refuse dairy products. In this case, cabbage, spinach, and nuts serve as a valuable source.