I remember as a child I was constantly reminded of how drinking a glass of milk would help in building strong and healthy bones. No matter how much I hated it, I had to go through this exercise at least two times a day. Rightly so, a glassful of milk does provide an abundance of calcium, which is known to not only improve bone health, but also have an impact on blood pressure, heart health, body weight and cancer prevention. Calcium is a necessary mineral that our body cannot produce on its own, which is why it is generally obtained through dietary sources. According to National Institutes of Health (NIH- Office of Dietary Supplements), adults from 19-50 years of age should have 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day and adult men above 51-70 should have 1,200 milligrams per day. While this may look like a small amount, we tend to fail in fulfilling the daily requirements that leads to calcium deficiency.
Calcium deficiency is a common problem these days, it may become serious if not diagnosed and treated on time. Here are some signs that you should look out for, in case you are calcium deficient.
1. Weak and brittle nails
One of the most common symptoms of calcium deficiency is weak and brittle nails. If you are constantly experiencing chipped nails or your nails tend to not grow properly, it could mean that you are calcium deficient. Load up on more and more calcium dense foods like dairy products, greens, seeds, salmon, nuts, tofu, figs, et al.
One of the most common symptoms of calcium deficiency is weak and brittle nails
2. Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps are also early symptoms of calcium deficiency. A single muscle cramp may not be alarming, but if you are experiencing quite a few cramps in a day, there is a chance it may be a calcium related deficiency you are dealing with. Calcium deficiency leads to muscle tenderness, contraction and overall discomfort as this mineral helps in moving your muscles.
Muscle cramps are also early symptoms of calcium deficiency
3. Dental cavities
Calcium is an important constituent for our teeth. Therefore, deficiency in the body may affect teeth as well. You teeth start to decay and become prone to cavities as they become weaker by the day. In fact, you may also experience bad breath problems. So start loading up on more dairy products in order to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Calcium is an important constituent for our teeth
4. High blood pressure
According to studies, calcium intake has been associated with lowering high blood pressure. Calcium basically helps blood vessels contract and expand; it also aids the transmission of signals in nerves and cells. Low calcium levels help maintain sodium balance, further help in regulating blood pressure levels.
According to studies, calcium intake has been associated with lowering high blood pressure
5. Vitamin D deficiency
Calcium needs vitamin D to absorb into the body, so lacking on one means, you will likely be low on the other. So, try and increase your calcium and vitamin D dense foods like cereals, milk, juice, etc. Soak in sunlight that is a good source of vitamin D.
Try and increase your calcium and vitamin D intake
Calcium causes the release of melatonin, which is needed for a sound sleep. If you are calcium deficient, the body may not be able to release the required amount, leaving you restless through the night. Ensure that your calcium intake every day is on point.
(Also read: What to Eat to Sleep Better?)
Calcium causes the release of melatonin, which is needed for a sound sleep
7. Poor bone density
Calcium deficiency may lead to brittle bones leading to fractures and severe conditions like rickets and osteoporosis. 99 percent of the calcium is stored in the bones and one percent that remains is carried in the blood stream. With the deficiency, bones tend to release the mineral, making them brittle and weak causing such severe conditions. Therefore, it is important to load up on enough calcium for the day.
Calcium deficiency may lead to brittle bones leading to fractures and severe conditions
In case of chronic calcium deficiency and severe symptoms, ensure that you consult a doctor as soon as possible.