Do you know the signs of a calcium deficiency?

Even if you are eating healthy diet, it’s important to know the calcium deficiency symptoms that may occur if the body is not absorbing enough calcium from the diet.

Calcium must be eaten daily and absorbed effectively in order to maintain optimal health. Most people can get enough calcium by eating a variety of foods rich in calcium. Healthy foods that naturally contain calcium green, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, beans and whole grains. There are also many calcium-fortified foods available today, including orange juice, breakfast cereals, breads, and other. We can also take calcium supplements to help ensure we are meeting the recommended calcium requirements (which is anywhere from 1,000 mg. up to 1,500 mg. a day depending on age).

There some groups that require higher than usual intake of calcium. High dietary calcium intake is necessary for infants, children and adolescents for proper bone growth and formation. Pregnant women also have higher calcium needs for their developing babies. In addition, women who have reached menopause need to ensure an adequate amount of calcium intake to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium also helps to promote a regular heartbeat, helps our blood to clot properly, and helps to conduct nerve impulses correctly.

Women concerned about osteoporosis should be aware that supplemental calcium alone is not enough to solve the issue, if it’s related to heredity, lifestyle and diet, and is accelerated by hormonal changes at menopause. Another essential element is physical activity, especially weight-bearing aerobic exercise (walking, jogging or aerobics) and weight lifting, which should be part of everyone’s daily routine.

It’s also important to remember that because diet high in animal protein also cause bones to lose calcium, it’s recommended to limit or eliminate animal protein from your menu. For strong bodes (and better health) skip soda and caffeine, and quit smoking, all of which promote calcium loss in the urine.

4 Signs of Calcium Deficiency

If you have a calcium deficiency, you may experience any of the following signs:

Muscle cramping, usually occurring at night, especially in the legs.

Dry Skin and Brittle Nails. When your skin becomes dry and your fingernails become brittle (break easily), you could be lacking from calcium. If these symptoms are present, you may also want to check to see if your teeth are becoming yellow. The teeth and the bones can be severely affected from a lack of calcium.

More Severe PMS Symptoms. A woman may begin experience more intense cramping or increase in her menstrual flow.

Bone Fractures or Breakage. Since calcium is needed to build bones and to keep them strong, without sufficient supplies of calcium, our bones will become weak. As they weaken, fractures and breakage can occur. This is a severe symptom of calcium deficiency.

What to Do If You Suffer From Calcium Deficiency

If you are experiencing any of the above signs, you will need to evaluate how much calcium you are consuming each day. You may need to add more calcium enriched foods into your diet, and consider the possibility of adding a calcium supplement, as well. You can get adequate amounts from your diet if you eat a lot of cooked greens (collards have most), molasses, sesame seeds, broccoli, and tofu (be sure to read package labels to make sure calcium was used in its preparation), as well as calcium-fortified soy milk, and orange juice.

If your symptoms are severe, see your doctor, who may want to do some blood work or other tests.

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