Calcium is a vital mineral that your body needs to function. It is necessary for building strong bones and teeth, but it also plays a crucial role in muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting. However, it’s often difficult to recognize the symptoms of low calcium, medically known as hypocalcemia. Hence, we’re here to guide you.
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Symptoms of Low Calcium
Now, let’s explore the 15 symptoms of low calcium that you should never ignore.
1. Extreme fatigue
Extreme fatigue is one of the earliest signs of low calcium.
If you feel tired, sluggish, or lethargic all the time despite adequate sleep, consider checking your calcium levels.
2. Muscle Cramps
One of the more immediate and noticeable symptoms of low calcium is muscle cramping, particularly in the hands and feet.
This is due to the critical role calcium plays in muscle contraction.
3. Tingling and Numbness
If you’re experiencing tingling or numbness in your fingers, toes, or lips, it could be an indication of low calcium.
This is because calcium plays a role in nerve function.
4. Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are often overlooked. Yet, they can be a symptom of low calcium.
If your nails chip and break easily, your body might lack calcium.
5. Tooth Decay
Calcium is crucial for healthy teeth.
Thus, a deficiency may lead to tooth decay or other dental problems.
In particular, children with low calcium may experience delayed tooth development.
6. Difficulty Sleeping
Low calcium levels can affect your sleep. As per studies, calcium deficiencies have been linked to insomnia.
7. Frequent Fractures
Low calcium levels over time can lead to osteoporosis, characterized by weak and brittle bones.
This condition can increase your likelihood of fractures.
Low calcium can affect your mood, causing irritability, anxiety, or depression.
It’s believed that calcium plays a role in neurotransmitter release, which impacts mood.
9. Dry Skin
Did you know that calcium can affect your skin? When deficient, you may notice that your skin becomes dry and itchy.
10. Hair Loss
Hair loss is another one of the possible symptoms of low calcium.
Without enough calcium, your hair may become dry and thin and start to fall out.
11. Poor Memory
Low calcium can affect your brain health, leading to cognitive problems like forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.
Indeed, calcium is important for brain function.
12. Heart Problems
Heart problems can be a serious symptom of low calcium.
Calcium plays a vital role in heart function, and a deficiency can cause irregular heart rhythms, sudden cardiac arrest, and congestive heart failure.
13. Weight Gain
Weight gain can be a sign of low calcium.
Some researchers believe that calcium deficiency can affect your appetite, leading to weight gain.
14. Eye Twitching
Eye twitching can be a symptom of low calcium.
The twitching may occur because of the role calcium plays in nerve function.
15. Difficulty Swallowing
Difficulty swallowing is a lesser-known symptom of low calcium.
If you’re having trouble swallowing, it may be due to low calcium affecting your nerves and muscles in the throat.
Hallucinations are severe symptoms of low calcium. However, they usually only occur when calcium levels are extremely low.
Another severe sign is seizures. They can occur in extreme cases of low calcium levels.
Frequently Asked Questions about Low Calcium
What causes low Calcium levels?
Various factors can lead to low calcium levels, also known as hypocalcemia.
These include poor calcium intake, certain medications, specific diseases like kidney disease or hormonal disorders, vitamin D deficiency, and certain genetic factors.
2. How is low Calcium diagnosed?
Low calcium is usually diagnosed through a blood test that measures the general amount of calcium in your blood. It’s a simple and quick test.
However, your doctor might order additional tests to determine the cause of the low calcium.
What foods are high in Calcium?
Generally speaking, foods that are particularly high in calcium include dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Non-dairy sources include leafy green vegetables like broccoli and kale, as well as fish with edible bones, such as sardines and canned salmon.
Fortified foods, like some types of bread or juices, can also be good sources of calcium.
Can low Calcium levels be dangerous?
Yes, low calcium levels can be dangerous if left untreated.
Severe symptoms of low calcium include heart complications, seizures, and even hallucinations.
Long-term, chronic low calcium can also contribute to osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more prone to fractures.
How is low Calcium treated?
Low calcium is generally treated by increasing dietary intake or taking calcium supplements.
It may also involve treating any underlying conditions that are causing the low calcium levels.
As always, treatments should be discussed and prescribed by a healthcare provider.
Further Reading: 5 Health Benefits of Calcium