Calcium is a macro element that in the human body is directly involved in metabolic processes and tissue formation.
It is well known that this substance is directly involved in the formation of bones and teeth. But that's not all. This macroelement affects the cardiovascular system, nourishes nerve tissue, lowers cholesterol, normalizes blood pressure, etc.
Of great importance is calcium for the body of a pregnant woman. Fetal development depends on calcium, as well as the well-being and general health of the expectant mother.
The role of calcium in the human body
Calcium is one of the few elements that is used by literally every cell of the human body. Many people do not receive this substance together with food, and the wrong, unhealthy and unbalanced diet is to blame. But if you know what functions calcium performs in the body, the attitude towards it will definitely change.
- Calcium maintains a normal blood clotting rate. Due to the permeability of cell membranes, which helps to nourish the cells.
- The substance regulates the work of the SSA due to the effect on the contractile function of the heart and heart rate.
- Macroelement affects neuromuscular conduction.
- The component contributes to the normalization and regulation of metabolism.
- Calcium prevents the development of cancer, and prevents the formation of polyps in the intestine.
In addition to the above, under the influence of calcium occurs:
- preventing the development of allergic diseases;
- control and regulation of intestinal motility;
- prevention of constipation;
- regulation of the production of calcitonin, one of the most important parathyroid hormone;
- normalization of sleep.
With reduced calcium, it is extracted from the reserves, which are bones and tooth enamel. Signs of such a deficiency are problems with teeth, a tendency to frequent fractures. Against the background of prolonged hypocalcemia, a dangerous disease such as osteoporosis can develop.
It is important to bear in mind that a decrease in the level of calcium in the blood can be the result of eating foods low in magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D. It is these components that have a direct effect on the process of calcium absorption.
Causes of calcium deficiency
Not always the cause of hypocalcemia is the reduced content of this macro element in the food consumed by man. Sometimes the deviation appears on the background of various factors, including pathological. But to determine where the problem with the level of calcium in the body originates, consider all possible causes of its occurrence.
- Improper nutrition with the dominance of dishes prepared from genomodifitsirovannyh, tinted and "stuffed" with preservatives, flavors. Such food has absolutely no nutritional value.
- Strict diets for weight loss. They are based on the use of products that are almost completely devoid of useful substances, including calcium.
- Therapeutic diets that limit the use of milk and dairy products.
- The absence or ignoring of information about the dose of calcium contained in a particular product. Such ignorance can lead to the fact that a person can not know how much calcium enters his body from a specific food, and whether it comes at all.
- Vitamin D deficiency - a substance responsible for the full absorption of calcium by the body. Its natural sources are very few. This is mainly ultraviolet and egg yolk. Therefore, doctors prescribe an additional source of D3 in the form of drops or tablets - this helps to avoid hypocalcemia.
- Heavy smoking, abuse of coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
- Low mineral content in tap water.
- Hypolactasia, or lactose intolerance. Due to the violation of the enzyme balance of the intestine, intolerance of dairy products occurs. But it is he who is a generous source of calcium.
- Ignoring or ignorance of the features of calcium absorption in the body. This substance is not always fully absorbed - some factors interfere with this process. For example, taking acetylsalicylic acid and drugs with its content, frequent use of narcotic drugs or treatment with tranquilizers can lead to a violation of the absorption of this element. Inhibition of calcium absorption occurs under the influence of coffee and alcohol.
- Violation of the synthesis of estrogen.
- The excess in the body of phosphorus, lead, iron, cobalt, zinc, magnesium, potassium and sodium. With elevated levels of these substances, calcium begins to be more intensively excreted from the body.
- Long or uncontrolled intake of certain hormones, laxatives and diuretic drugs. These drugs have the property of reducing the absorption of calcium. This also applies to antacids, some antibiotics and regulators of gastric acid secretion - agents that cause alkalization of the stomach.
Groups at risk of lack of calcium in the body
There are categories of people who are more prone to hypocalcemia. It:
- Children and adolescents whose body is in the phase of active growth and development. This element is important for the normal formation of the bone apparatus, teeth, nails. If it enters the body of a child and a teenager in sufficient quantity, then this is the main guarantee of the full functioning of the musculoskeletal system in an adult.
- Women during the premenopausal period. At this time, the synthesis of estrogen decreases, and with it, calcium is also actively “leaving”. In parallel, the intensity of its absorption decreases, which entails a gradual weakening of the bone tissue. If this process does not intervene, the woman may develop osteoporosis.
- Women suffering from amenorrhea. This is a deviation in which, for certain reasons, menstruation either stops or does not begin at all (in adolescent girls). Such a violation causes a gradual decrease in the level of estrogen in the blood, and this hormone, as noted earlier, has the most direct effect on calcium absorption.
- Pregnant women. During the period of gestation, a woman's body actively loses calcium, which "takes away" the developing fetus. This substance is necessary for the formation of the skeleton of the unborn child, laying a tooth, nails. Many pregnant patients show hypocalcemia, which should be eliminated immediately.
- Vegetarians, vegans. The diet of people who propagandize plant foods entirely, receives not only the necessary amount of calcium, but also other important elements that can be obtained from meat and fish. Vegans, among other things, deny themselves dairy products than consciously or unconsciously put themselves at risk of developing hypocalcemia. In this case, it is necessary to enrich the menu with other sources of calcium, up to the intake of drugs that contain it.
- Persons with hypolactasia. Lactose intolerance, which is part of dairy products, causes people to avoid their use. It is a well-known fact that milk and products made from it contain large concentrations of calcium. Refusal of them reduces the intake of the substance in the body, and if you do not take additional measures, hypocalcemia will also join hypolactasia.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency
With a decrease in the level of calcium, symptoms such as fatigue, general weakness and fatigue are the first to appear. There are problems with hair, skin, nails. A person's teeth deteriorate, caries develops.
But it is important to understand what the full picture accompanying hypocalcemia can be. On this we dwell as much as possible.
- Fatigue. A person who does not have enough calcium in the body feels constant causeless fatigue, drowsiness. Moreover, even after a full night's sleep. Against this background, reduced performance, there is a breakdown.
- Hair fragility, nail lamination, tooth crumbling. Along with these symptoms, a person's skin color changes - it becomes pale.
- Less common pain in the joints of uncertain localization. They can migrate throughout the body, affecting the periarticular ligamentous apparatus, the muscles of the hands and feet. Some patients have cramps of the gastrocnemius muscles.
- There may be a tendency to bleed at different locations. This is especially true of nasal, gingival bleeding. A person marks the appearance of bruises on his body for no apparent reason.
- Increased sensitivity of tooth enamel to cold or hot dishes, drinks, and even air (when inhaled through the mouth). In a patient with hypocalcemia, frequent recurrence of caries occurs, and the teeth begin to crumble.
- The development of allergies, pollinosis, diathesis with increased frequency. With calcium deficiency there is a significant weakening of the immune system. Thus, he becomes unable to resist inflammatory processes of non-infectious etiology, or attacks of viruses, fungi, pathogenic microorganisms. Against this background, cases of the development of colds and flu, which lead to complications such as tonsillitis, sinusitis, otitis, frontitis, etc., are on the increase. in chronic form, and aggravated even with the slightest hypothermia.
The lower the calcium indices fall, the more and more often patients notice problems with ODA. As a result, children and adolescents begin to lag behind their peers in height, and adults notice a tendency to fractures, dislocations, subluxations. Young people periodically experience joint pain characteristic of osteoporosis, and in older patients, fractures of the vertebral bodies or the neck of the femur.
What to do and how to treat a lack of calcium?
Before taking measures to replenish calcium reserves in the body, it is necessary to pass tests for the content of this mineral. Blood, urine, or even saliva are collected for examination. Also, hair cut from several sections of the occipital zone is often studied. Only after receiving the results of the test, the doctor will be able to decide on further methods of therapy.
Drug therapy is carried out exclusively on prescription. Self-medication is unacceptable - it can have dangerous consequences. Doctors usually resort to prescription:
- monocomponent calcium preparations (for example, Calcium Gluconate);
- combined mineral remedies (Calcium D3 Nycomed Forte, Natekal, Calcemin);
- vitamin-mineral complexes (Complivit, MultiTabs, Alphabet, etc.). But they contain too low calcium content, therefore it is more expedient to use them as a preventive measure.
Dosage of the drug, its selection and duration of treatment - all these nuances are decided only by a doctor. Treatment of hypocalcemia requires a strictly individual approach, and for this reason, doctors strongly advise patients to refuse self-treatment.
If the symptoms of calcium deficiency have only begun to appear, but the shortage of the substance has not yet had time to lead to the development of diseases, then it is possible to normalize the indicators by including calcium-enriched foods in the diet. It:
- Dairy and dairy products. The use of natural milk, sour cream, cheese or cottage cheese helps to replenish the body with calcium without taking medications. It is very useful to eat 160 g of cream cheese per day. This option is especially relevant for people who do not have the opportunity to eat homemade dairy products every day.
- Cabbage. In addition to calcium, the vegetable contains other vitamins that support and normalize the body. The same goes for spinach.
- Nuts Besides the fact that nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds) are enriched with calcium, they are also a generous source of proteins. And proteins are no less important for the body than calcium.
This is not a complete list of products, consuming which, you can fill the lack of calcium in the body. Full list of dishes and other products:
|Title||Amount of calcium in 1 serving (mg)||Portion size in grams|
|Sardines in oil||235||60|
|Beans||130||200 gr. boiled|
|Chickpea||98||200 gr. boiled|
|Parsley and dill||Approximately 200 mg||100|
|White cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli||130 mg||200|
|Ice cream made from cream||125||100|
How to improve the absorption of calcium by the body?
There are substances that enhance the process of absorption of calcium in the body. This is vitamin D3 and magnesium.
But there are elements that inhibit this process. This group includes oxalic and phytic acids. Therefore, it is not recommended to use foods that are their sources - sorrel and spinach. The rest of the greens can be eaten safely, and it will be an excellent source of calcium.
It is necessary to abandon carbonated beverages that wash out calcium from the body. You should not abuse coffee, tea: 1 - 2 cups of these drinks per day will be enough to maintain the tone of the body without harm to the vitamin-mineral balance.
What will happen if not treated?
A lack of calcium in the body can turn into quite serious and dangerous health problems. Hypocalcemia can lead to:
- Osteoporosis. This is a disease in which the strength of bone tissue is significantly reduced. As a result, the bone becomes fragile, the person has frequent fractures, an increased tendency to dislocations, subluxations and other problems with the joints. Especially often osteoporosis occurs in women during menopause.
- Hypertension. In order to avoid the development of hypertension, it is necessary to replenish calcium stores. Patients with hypertension is recommended temporary adherence to a diet based on the use of dairy products, herbs, vegetables and fruits.
- Cardiovascular diseases. With a normal level of calcium, the risk of damage to the cardiovascular system increases, there is a risk of stroke.
- Oncological pathologies. Some studies show that hypocalcemia can lead to intestinal cancer. In men, such a deviation can provoke prostate cancer.
Eliminate the risk of complications can only normalize the diet, and, if necessary, and drug therapy of calcium deficiency. Every day you need to use products enriched with magnesium, calcium and vitamin D3. It is important to do regular walks in sunny weather - ultraviolet activates the synthesis of vitamin D3. It is best to walk until 10 am, when the sun is not very high.
Sometimes food containing Ca is not enough. In this case, drugs are used to replenish its balance. As a rule, they are sold in the form of chewable tablets.But without a doctor's prescription, they should not be taken, since each medicine has its own contraindications.
It is also worth remembering that the majority of calcium drugs, doctors do not recommend the use of women during pregnancy and breastfeeding. For these categories of patients, there are specially developed drugs containing Ca. They can be taken without fear - they are completely harmless to the mother and the future or infant baby.