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Do You Have a Calcium Deficiency? Here’s How to Find Out
by Jay Bua
It's probably a given that most of us know the importance of making sure we get enough calcium on a daily basis. Calcium is the foundation, if you will, upon which our bodies are built—helping ensure strong bones and muscles, preventing bone loss, preventing tooth decay, and protecting against other health problems. But what exactly happens when we don’t get enough calcium? And how do we know if we’re getting sufficient calcium on a regular basis? The good news is that it's fairly easy to figure out if you have a calcium deficiency. Let's take a look.
Why You Need CalciumAs I mentioned when I called it the "foundation," calcium is the main mineral in the human body, which is good because it has so many uses. Your body needs calcium not only to improve the strength of bones and teeth, but also to ensure normal cellular function. This means calcium plays a crucial role in keeping muscles contracting, hormones secreting, blood clotting, and nerve impulses transmitting. Basically, if you want your body to perform its most important functions, you need enough calcium. The amount of calcium you need every day depends on a few factors, including age. Men need about 1,000 mg per day between the ages of 19 and 70, but that amount jumps to 1,200 mg a day for men who are age 71 and up. Women need at least 1,000 mg per day between the ages of 19 and 50, and that increases to 1,200 mg when they reach age 51.
Symptoms of Calcium DeficiencyIt’s not always obvious you’re not getting enough calcium, especially since there aren’t always many symptoms early on. But some of the symptoms people may experience due to a calcium deficiency may include:
- Chest pains
- Tooth decay
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes
- Changes to the voice
- Heart failure