From our childhood, we have always heard from our elders in home telling us that “calcium is good for the bones” because of the presence of excess calcium content in bones. It is a fact that growing bones need correct amounts of calcium to stay strong.
Calcium is one of the many minerals that the body needs for numerous functions. This includes blood clotting, regulation of the heart’s rhythm, transmission of nerve signals and bone cell synthesis. Almost ninety-nine percent of the calcium is available and stored in bones and teeth. Rest of the one percent is found in the blood and other tissues.
Our body gets the calcium it needs in two ways. One is by eating foods or supplements that contain calcium. The other way is by pulling it from the long bones. The prime most is to pull it from various dairy products and green vegetables. These contain the highest concentration of calcium. Again, there are various supplements for calcium available in our market these days. Vitamin D is one of the primary content in calcium supplements. Consuming vitamin D supplements along with calcium improves our bone health.
In the second case where the excess calcium is pulled from bones, the blood levels of calcium drop to a much extent. Different age groups need the different amount of calcium supply for their body.
- 0-3 Year babies – Need 200-260 mg
- 4- 8-year kids – Need 1000 mg
- 9- 18-year kids – Need 1300 mg
- 18 – 50 adults – Need 1000 mg
Out of this chart you may read further, normal women need a bit more i.e. 1200 mg in their middle and old age, and this is what men need after they get to their 70s.
Excess calcium can cause various ill effects on our body
We would not have heard about parathyroid gland as much we have heard about thyroid gland. This pear-shaped parathyroid gland just sits in front of the thyroid gland. Their essential function is to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. The release of the hormones by the glands tells the body when to stop absorbing calcium. Hyperparathyroidism is a condition where parathyroid releases too much parathyroid hormone. Thereby it allows excess calcium to remain in the blood. Our body reacts to what it perceives as a shortage. Due to the shortage of calcium, our body pulls it from the bones. This condition reduces the calcium in our body through our kidneys. It is a viscious circle of hampers. It is a must to remember the fact that, the appropriate amount of calcium is always ‘the need of an hour’ else, hyperparathyroidism would endanger our life, which is a serious health condition.
Hypercalcemia is a condition where there is an electrolyte imbalance. This is indicated by the presence of an excess calcium in the blood.
Due to this condition, cancer cells start in the bone, or spread over the bones. These can secrete substances that can cause cells found in the bone called osteoclasts to dissolve a portion of the bone. These tumors weaken the bone and can lead to complications. They have extremely complicated situations. Some of the complications resulting from this bone breakdown are bone pain and fractures. Also, it makes one weak even to lift smaller things or walk a small distance. It also leads to a disease, less commonly known as hypercalcemia.
Mild hypercalcemia may not produce any symptoms. There are different types of symptoms associated with this. They could be vomiting or constipation. It can also cause poor appetite. These symptoms also include twitching, anxiety, fatigue, personal changes, and confusion. This can also lead to sleepiness, coma or even death.
The severity of symptoms for hypercalcemia depends not only on excess calcium level but also on how fast the rise in serum calcium has occurred.
3Effects of excess calcium on the skin
Whether we believe it or not, our skin is as important as any other part of our body. The reason behind this is that our internal health is automatically reflected in our skin. Your skin is the largest organ on your body. The major advantage of skin is that whatever the internal body can’t get rid of, the skin will try to do so itself. This is especially true when it comes to the liver and digestive system. They have a hard time with internal wastes that can’t be properly removed. When you consume too much dairy products or food rich in excess calcium, our skin usually gets a major hit. You can recognize the same through acne and redness in the skin. Many people notice huge improvements to their skin during the first few days without dairy. It is always better to consume the correct quantity of calcium if we need a good blemish free skin.
4Harmful for women
It is found that women who have a high intake of daily calcium may be at an increased risk of death from all causes. This includes ischemic heart disease and from cardiovascular disease. Diets low or high in calcium might override the normal tight homeostatic control. This causes changes in blood levels of calcium.
As we all know Calcium is one of the elements which is used by our body to varied levels of function. Calcium, in particular, is very useful in building teeth and our bones. In the brain, calcium has an important role in nerve impulse conduction. This all indicates a particularly significant role in both overall body’s health and disease state. Calcium apparently triggers and gives the signaling pathways essential for the certain type of memory. Excess of calcium may also cause brain damage. Without calcium, the nervous system would have no outputs.
This element named calcium also helps in blood clotting. It plays a very important role in the blood clotting activation factors present in our blood. If an insufficient level of calcium is present in the blood then the process of blood clotting will not occur in time, leading to excessive blood loss at the time of injury.
Though Calcium is an essential mineral for our bodies, which plays a vital role in a number of different normal bodily functions. Yet,it should be remembered that normal concentrations of calcium in your blood actually fall within a small range. But, many of us do not realize as an adult that too much calcium can actually cause some problems. We should ideally pay attention to the supplements we take and above all our diet plays a very important role contributing to your health.