What is dangerous lack of calcium for the body?
Calcium is a very important element, which must be contained in the products included in the diet. Its shortage is very dangerous and can lead to serious consequences. Find out how to replenish stocks and avoid problems.
Important functions of calcium in the human body
In the body of an adult there is about 1-2 kilograms of calcium. Most of it (about 98-99%) is found in bone tissue, and only a small fraction circulates in biological fluids, including blood.
Consider the main functions of calcium:
- The formation of the bone tissues of the human body and the skeleton of the body. It is calcium that is the main building block used to maintain the necessary density of bones and teeth.
- Regulation of muscle contractions, maintenance of tone, normalization of the contractile activity of the myocardial heart muscle.
- Calcium is involved in many metabolic processes taking place in the body: fat, carbohydrate, water-salt.Such an element maintains balance and ensures the normal flow of vital reactions.
- Maintain a complete synthesis of certain hormones.
- Calcium is used by the human body for the correct transmission of nerve impulses and participation in certain neuronal responses. Thus, this element ensures the smooth functioning of the central nervous system.
- Together with vitamin K, calcium helps to normalize blood clotting and keep it at the right level.
- Such an element is necessary for the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system, since, firstly, it reduces the permeability of the vascular walls, strengthens them and prevents deformation. Secondly, calcium in tandem with some other elements is involved in maintaining a constant level of blood pressure.
- Calcium has antioxidant activity and helps the body to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.
- It is worth noting anti-inflammatory properties, allowing to stop inflammatory processes and promote tissue repair after infections.
- Normalization of the immune system.
- Calcium is one of the main elements of cell membranes and directly affects their permeability, and also helps to transport nutrients and oxygen through them.
The daily intake of calcium for an adult is about 800-1200 milligrams. In a woman during periods of pregnancy and lactation, it increases to 1500 mg. A child under the age of three needs 300-500 milligrams of an element, after three years and up to ten - about 800. In adolescence, which is the peak of growth and puberty, the need increases to 1100-1200 mg. The maximum allowable amount is 2.5 grams.
It is important to know: the daily need for calcium increases with intense physical exertion in men, with increased sweating, hormone therapy (especially steroid hormones), as well as during contact with certain harmful compounds, such as fluorine and phosphates.
How to replenish stocks?
To replenish the reserves of the element in the body you need to adjust the power. But what foods contain calcium? Consider the most useful:
- fermented milk and dairy products, such as cottage cheese, cheese, yoghurts, yogurt;
- legumes, such as beans;
- leafy vegetables and greens: parsley, spinach;
- sesame seeds;
- sea kale;
- soy tofu;
- turnip (especially used together with the tops), onions, horseradish;
- sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds;
- fatty and red fish varieties such as salmon, mackerel;
- seafood (especially shells);
- Some berries and fruits: apricots, pears, pineapples.
It is important to know: vitamin D assists in the full absorption of calcium, which is contained in eggs and is produced by the body under the influence of sunlight. Therefore, you need to be more in the fresh air, especially in clear weather.
Possible causes of deficiency
Calcium deficiency can be caused by different reasons:
- unhealthy diets (strict diets, alcohol and coffee);
- lack of other important food ingredients such as vitamins C and D;
- excess in the body of certain substances: fluorine, lead, potassium, iron, chlorine;
- taking diuretics (calcium can be washed out of the body along with urine);
- pregnancy, especially with severe toxicosis;
- kidney disease;
- some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in which the processes of absorption of nutrients from the consumed food are disturbed;
- thyroid disease;
- diarrhea or taking laxatives (in such cases, the absorption of calcium through the intestinal walls decreases);
- frequent and severe stress.
How to identify the shortage?
Calcium deficiency can go unnoticed for a long time and not be detected during examinations. The optimal level of this element in the blood is 2.2-2.5 mmol / l. If it falls below 2 mmol / l, then the body begins to try to fill the deficit on its own, literally pulling calcium from bone and other tissues. And if this condition persists for a long period, then disturbing symptoms may occur:
- increased fatigue, depression, weakness, apathy, depressive conditions;
- decreased bone density and frequent fractures caused by it;
- deterioration of the teeth, their destruction;
- brittle hair and nails;
- muscle cramps or cramps;
- growth retardation in children;
- in children, rickets can occur, which is expressed in the curvature of the limbs and an increase in the volume of the abdomen;
- joint pain;
- gait disturbance, lameness;
- allergic reactions;
- high blood pressure;
- increased nervous irritability, excessive tension, irritability;
- constipation, intestinal atony;
- heart rhythm disorders;
- memory impairment, decreased concentration;
- tingling in the fingers, reducing their sensitivity.
Although the lack of calcium develops much more often, its excess is also possible. It can be observed with an excessive intake of an element into the body with food or complex supplements, with an excess of vitamin D and in certain diseases in which the absorption of substances from food increases.
Excessive calcium can be identified by symptoms such as decreased or complete lack of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, arrhythmia, weakness, decreased concentration, possible hallucinations, and kidney problems.
Calcium is an important element, the deficiency of which can lead to sad consequences. Eat properly to replenish its reserves, improve health and normalize the work of important body systems.
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