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Calcium Deficiency

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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Calcium deficiency, condition in which calcium is insufficient or is not utilized properly. Calcium is the mineral that is most likely to be deficient in the average diet. It is the chief supportive element in bones and teeth. Calcium salts make up about 70 percent of bone by weight and give that substance its strength and rigidity. About 99 percent of the calcium in the human body is held in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent circulates in the bloodstream, where it performs a variety of important functions. It helps to contract muscles and to regulate the contractions of the heart. It plays a role in the transmission of nerve impulses and in the clotting of blood. Calcium is involved in the stimulation of contractions of the uterus during childbirth and in the production of milk. It also regulates the secretion of various hormones and aids in the functioning of various enzymes within the body.

Ingested calcium is absorbed in the small intestine and passes from there into the bloodstream, most of it ultimately reaching the bones and teeth. The most efficient absorption of calcium is dependent on the presence in the body of vitamin D, which is a key ingredient in various hormones that enable calcium to pass from the digestive system into the blood, bones, and teeth. Similarly, there are optimal ratios of phosphorus to the amount of calcium consumed that permit calcium to be more completely utilized. Hormonal secretions of the parathyroid and thyroid glands (parathyroid hormone and calcitonin, respectively) also help maintain a calcium equilibrium in the blood. These regulatory mechanisms help to prevent a deficiency in calcium from developing in the bloodstream. When such a deficiency does develop, parathyroid hormone and vitamin D act to transfer calcium from the bones in order to maintain the mineral’s all-important presence in the bloodstream. The result of a mild insufficiency of calcium over the long term may be a factor in osteoporosis, a disease characterized by thinning of the bones. Faulty metabolism of calcium during childhood may result in rickets. Recent research points to calcium deficiency as being a possible cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) and of colorectal cancer.

Severe calcium deficiency, or hypocalcemia, which is defined as a reduction of calcium levels in the bloodstream below a certain normal range, has its own clinical manifestations. The main syndrome is tetany, which involves sensations of numbness and tingling around the mouth and fingertips and painful aches and spasms of the muscles. These symptoms respond to treatment with calcium. A clinically detectable deficiency of calcium is a relatively rare finding and is almost always caused by a deficiency of either parathyroid hormone or vitamin D in the body, i.e., the two chief regulators of calcium metabolism.

Calcium is plentiful in nature. Food sources high in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products; leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, turnips, and collard greens; and seafood such as salmon and sardines.


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Calcium tablets - Are They Good or Bad?

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For many people, popping a calcium tablet is something which has benefits, but at the same time does no harm. After all, who does not want to have strong bones and healthy teeth? The unfortunate part is that things are not so simple and a lot of research has debunked this.

Take, for example, the findings that when an old woman has calcium, the fracture rates are not all that different as compared to one who has not had calcium supplements. In addition to this, it was also found as part of a study that there is no positive impact on the mineral density of the hip.

As a matter of fact, calcium tablets and supplements can pose a significant risk, as well. While it is true that calcium does help in the effort of getting heart disease, an amount which is greater than the dietary limit does not. Actually, the excess calcium may increase the risk. This is true when it comes to calcium from supplements and not calcium which is absorbed by the way of food. So, what sort of additional risk is there? A study found that people who receive calcium from a tablet or another similar source have about a 140% greater chance of a heart attack!

How much is too much?


A thousand milligrammes of calcium in excess of the requirement on a daily basis is said to increase the risk of death from CVD or cardiovascular disease by about a fifth. Not a trivial amount, by any measure.

But why does this happen?

The key to answering this question comes from how the calcium is absorbed by the body. When calcium from food is eaten, the rate of it being released is a lot slower as compared to calcium from tablets. Also, when there is excess calcium, it is not absorbed and kept in reserve by the body but is excreted in the form of urine. So, this calcium going through the kidneys can cause some trouble there, as well!

Yes or No?

So, what is to be done in order to make sure one is having a sufficient amount of calcium? Well, there are a lot of sources and consuming things such as dairy products and fish, along with dark leafy vegetables are some great ways to get natural calcium. Only if a person has very low calcium levels should calcium tablets be consumed? It is well worth remembering that too much of a good thing is a bad thing!

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Calcium Deficiency - 3 Signs You are Suffering from it

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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Calcium is known for its role in maintaining the bone health, from keeping your teeth stronger to normal functioning of the cells. But there are various factors, which lead to a deficiency of calcium in the human body and paves the way for several complications.

Here are the top three signs that indicate you are suffering from calcium deficiency.

Difficulty in sleeping: Sleep is essential for your bone health and calcium is directly associated with your sleep cycle. The level of calcium in your bones rises and falls when you are asleep and it reaches its peak when you are in deep slumber. This indicates that when you are unable to sleep properly, it is a warning sign of calcium deficiency. There are various researches that have confirmed, that by increasing the level of calcium, it is possible to restore the normal sleep cycle of an individual. This is also related to the role that calcium plays in the production of a sleep hormone called melatonin. When the calcium content in the body is really low, this hormone is not produced, thus, making it difficult for a person to sleep.

Difficulty in losing extra pounds: Yet another frustrating aspect of any individual’s life is the inability to shed off excess pounds. This issue is also linked with the lack of calcium supply in the body. The calcium that’s stored in the cells assists in the processing and storage of fat. So the fat cells with high calcium content burn faster, making you lose weight. Thus, if you have trouble losing weight in spite of having a well-regulated diet and regular workout, it’s a sign that you are suffering from low calcium.

Paresthesia: Though this ailment is not much heard of, it could be a sign of calcium deficiency. Paresthesia is a nervous disorder, which causes tingling sensation, tremors, numbness and loss of sensitivity. It could also lead to poor concentration, amnesia, confusion, hearing impairment, twitches and other physical as well as neurological impairment. This is because low calcium in the blood is connected with the health of your nerves.

The deficiency of calcium can manifest itself in different intensity, ranging from the non-existent to minimal to severe levels. Chronic calcium deficiency can lead to life-threatening diseases like rickets, osteopenia, and even osteoporosis. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore these signs and consult an expert without delay.

Published  

Calcium Deficiency - 3 Signs You are Suffering from it

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

Calcium is known for its role in maintaining the bone health, from keeping your teeth stronger to normal functioning of the cells. But there are various factors, which lead to a deficiency of calcium in the human body and paves the way for several complications.

Here are the top three signs that indicate you are suffering from calcium deficiency.

1. Difficulty in sleeping: Sleep is essential for your bone health and calcium is directly associated with your sleep cycle. The level of calcium in your bones rises and falls when you are asleep and it reaches its peak when you are in deep slumber. This indicates that when you are unable to sleep properly, it is a warning sign of calcium deficiency. There are various researches that have confirmed, that by increasing the level of calcium, it is possible to restore the normal sleep cycle of an individual. This is also related to the role that calcium plays in the production of a sleep hormone called melatonin. When the calcium content in the body is really low, this hormone is not produced, thus, making it difficult for a person to sleep.

2. Difficulty in losing extra pounds: Yet another frustrating aspect of any individual’s life is the inability to shed off excess pounds. This issue is also linked with the lack of calcium supply in the body. The calcium that’s stored in the cells assists in the processing and storage of fat. So the fat cells with high calcium content burn faster, making you lose weight. Thus, if you have trouble losing weight in spite of having a well-regulated diet and regular workout, it’s a sign that you are suffering from low calcium.

3. Paresthesia: Though this ailment is not much heard of, it could be a sign of calcium deficiency. Paresthesia is a nervous disorder, which causes tingling sensation, tremors, numbness and loss of sensitivity. It could also lead to poor concentration, amnesia, confusion, hearing impairment, twitches and other physical as well as neurological impairment. This is because low calcium in the blood is connected with the health of your nerves.
The deficiency of calcium can manifest itself in different intensity, ranging from the non-existent to minimal to severe levels. Chronic calcium deficiency can lead to life-threatening diseases like rickets, osteopenia, and even osteoporosis. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore these signs and consult an expert without delay.

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Calcium Supplements Tied to Higher Dementia Risk for Some Women

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Some older women who take calcium supplements commonly recommended to ward off age-related bone damage may face an increased risk of developing dementia, a small study suggests.



The heightened dementia risk appears limited to women who have had a stroke or suffer from other disorders that affect blood flow to the brain, researchers report in the journal Neurology.



"Our study is the first to show a relationship between calcium supplementation and increased risk for dementia in older women," said lead author Dr. Silke Kern of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Still, the findings from this observational study don't prove calcium supplements directly cause dementia, Kern added by email. Even for women who have had a stroke, it's too soon to say for sure whether it makes sense for them to avoid calcium supplements, Kern noted.



"These findings need to be replicated before any recommendations can be made," Kern said.



Millions of women take calcium supplements to strengthen bones made brittle by osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disorder that typically develops starting during menopause when the body slows production of new bone tissue.


For the current study, Kern and colleagues examined data on 700 women between the ages of 70 and 92 who didn't have dementia.



At the start of the study, and again five years later, women did a variety of psychiatric and cognitive tests including assessments of memory and reasoning skills. A subset of about 450 women also got brain scans. When the study began, 98 women were taking calcium supplements and 54 participants had already experienced a stroke. During the study, 54 more women had strokes, and 59 women developed dementia. Among the women who had brain scans, 71 percent had so-called white matter lesions, which are signs of mini-strokes and other disorders that affect blood flow to the brain. Overall, women who took calcium supplements were twice as likely to develop dementia as their peers who didn't, the study found.



But the increased risk appeared limited to people who had a stroke or other signs of existing cerebrovascular disease.



For women with a history of stroke, the dementia risk was almost seven times higher if they took calcium supplements than if they didn't.



When women had white matter lesions that can be a precursor to strokes, the dementia risk was three times greater when they took calcium supplements. Among women without a stroke history or white matter lesions, however, there wasn't any increased dementia risk associated with calcium supplements. Beyond its small size, other limitations of the study include the lack of follow-up brain scans at the end of the study, which made it impossible for researchers to assess how calcium supplements may have influenced the development of white matter lesions or silent strokes.



In addition, the study didn't look at how much calcium women got in their diets, which can affect the body differently than supplements and is thought to be safe or even protective against blood flow problems, the authors note. "Women and the public need to realize that when we talk about micronutrients -calcium included - and cognitive functioning, we need to consider that the combination of nutrients will be more predictive than one nutrient," said Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, a researcher at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who wasn't involved in the study.



"For example, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium all are typically looked at for their effects on multiple organs, and cognitive functioning will be affected most likely by a combination of these nutrients," Aggarwal added by email. "To say that only one nutrient increases the risk of dementia is premature and more studies need to look at a combination of nutrients."

Dr. Supriya Jagtap
Dr. Supriya Jagtap
BHMS, Family Physician Homeopath, Pune
Dr. Yogesh  Lohade
Dr. Yogesh Lohade
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Tushar D Tarwate
Dr. Tushar D Tarwate
BDS, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shrikant Tile
Dr. Shrikant Tile
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Dr. Pallavi Joshi
Dr. Pallavi Joshi
BHMS, Family Physician Homeopath, 1 yrs, Pune
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