Low calcium, also known as hypocalcemia or calcium deficiency disease, occurs when calcium levels in the blood are too low. Inadequate calcium occurs due to several factors, including too low calcium dietary intake, medications that decrease the intake of calcium, or osteoporosis due to a lifelong lack of calcium. Symptoms of calcium deficiency can be quite alarming and include confusion or memory loss, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, brittle nails, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or face, and more.
Hypocalcemia may develop in men or women. If your doctor thinks you have calcium deficiency, a blood test will be conducted to check your calcium levels. Telltale signs of low calcium include:
1. Muscle spasms and cramps
One symptom of calcium deficiency is muscle spasms. The nerves and muscles in the body that connect to blood calcium levels can cause twitching. Muscle cramps may start to occur in the legs or the arms. It can also cause muscle aches, weakness, and bone pain in the body. If the spasms are very severe then seizures can also occur. As people get older, they become more at-risk for developing calcium deficiency and diseases such as osteoporosis, which lead to bone loss. Therefore, it’s important that children and individuals over the age of 65 years old get as much calcium as they can in their diet. It’s also vital not to self-treat with calcium supplements, as kidney stones may develop. Instead, consult with your doctor who may advise a calcium rich diet or prescribe calcium supplements.
2. Numbness and tingling
Another symptom of hypocalcemia or calcium deficiency is numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, fingers, and face. This symptom can indicate a very severe deficiency. The more severe the deficiency, the more like tooth erosion, blood clotting, and heart issues that involve blood pressure and heart rhythms may occur. It’s important to include calcium rich foods in your daily diet to prevent low calcium and osteoporosis, a bone disease that can cause bone weakness and easy fractures.
3. Mental symptom of low calcium
Some of the severe mental symptoms of low calcium include mental confusion, irritability, depression, anxiety, and inability to concentrate. Over time, hypocalcemia may affect the brain and cause scary or even dementia-like neurologic symptoms, such as memory loss, delirium, depression, confusion, and hallucinations.
4. Bone fractures
Low calcium over time may lead to bone fractures due to osteoporosis, and even growth development issues in children. Women, especially, during their postmenopausal women at at increased risk of calcium deficiency, bone loss, and bone fractures. If you suffer from low calcium and osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe Evenity osteoporosis treatment in your postmenopausal years, partcilarly if you suffer from low calcium and are at high-risk bone fractures. Other treatments for low calcium may include prescription medications such as Fosamax, Actonel, as well as calcium supplements.