9 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

Did you know that no matter your BMI, if you have low levels of calcium in the body, your nervous system will become easily irritated? [1]

As a result, you’ll experience unpleasant symptoms like hand and feet spasms, abdominal and muscle cramps, highly active reflexes, softer bones, etc.

Our guide will therefore help you:

  • Recognize the symptoms of this deficiency
  • Which symptoms are the most common
  • Why calcium is a vital mineral

Our body needs this mineral to strengthen the bones and teeth.

We also need it for good heart health and healthy muscles. An untreated calcium deficiency may put you at a higher risk of other health problems like osteopenia and osteoporosis. [2]

Moreover, children who don’t get enough of this nutrient may have impeded full growth. The best way to reach the daily amount of calcium is through diet and supplements.

Knowing the important role of calcium in the body’s functioning and optimal health, we need to recognize the early warning symptoms of a potential deficiency and consult our physician for the next steps.

Warning Signs & Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

1. Excessive fatigue

This is one of the tell tale symptoms of numerous health problems, including calcium deficiency.

When you’re not meeting your RDI of this nutrient, you may begin to experience high tiredness, followed by insomnia.

You may also feel lethargic, fatigued, sluggish, and low on energy.

  • Fatigue may indicate low calcium
  • Tiredness is a common sign of nutrient deficiencies
  • It’s accompanied by sluggishness, low energy & lethargy

If your tiredness is caused by your low levels of calcium deficiency, it may be happening alongside with dizziness, brain fog, forgetfulness, and light-headedness. [3]

Experts agree that tiredness is a common warning symptom of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Anyway, if you’re experiencing chronic tiredness, especially after a good night’s sleep or rest, it’s important to get checked out and rule out medical reasons.

2. Skin & hair problems

Regardless of your BMI, if your levels of calcium are low, you may notice reduction in the health of your hair and skin. [4]

Chronic calcium deficiency has also been linked with health conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

This is why if you’re noticing your skin getting drier more than usually, even after moisturizing it, it’s good to consult your physician.

  • Low calcium worsens the skin & hair health
  • The hair may be coarser & even fall off
  • The skin may become dry & itchy

Hair problems like coarser hair and hair loss may indicate low levels of calcium in the body.

Hypocalcemia was found to contribute to alopecia, a type of condition causing the hair to fall out in patches.

To reduce the risk of this deficiency, add more calcium to your diet from calcium-rich foods like dairy and leafy greens like kale.

3. Muscle cramps

Unpleasant spasms, aches, and cramps in the muscles are one of the earliest warning symptoms of calcium deficiency.

People will usually experience ache in the arms and thighs, and especially the underarms, particularly during movement. [5]

  • Muscle spasms & aches may be a sign of low calcium
  • The pain is mostly felt in the arms & thighs
  • A tingling sensation & numbness is also common

Low levels of calcium will also lead to a tingling and numbing sensation in the arms, feet, hands, legs, and around the mouth.

These symptoms may not go away with workout and you need to wait them out.

In case you’re dealing with muscle spasms, you should definitely consult your physician to rule out potential health problems.

4. Insomnia

According to research, calcium is one of the most important minerals for falling and staying asleep easy at night.

So, this may be the reason why a person with calcium deficiency is struggling with sleeplessness.

  • Calcium eases sleeping
  • Insomnia may indicate low calcium levels
  • Dairy products help encourage sleep

Namely, this mineral is linked with our cycles of sleep and disturbances and lack of REM deep sleep have been associated with calcium deficiency. [6]

The study also discovered that the body’s sleep cycle improved when the calcium levels were brought to normal.

Calcium also assists the brain’s usage of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the production of melatonin, the hormone for sleep.

That’s why dairy products that are rich in calcium and tryptophan are recommended for encouraging sleep.

5. Brittle nails

If you want healthy and strong nails, you need calcium. Otherwise, a calcium deficiency may cause your nails to easily crack and break.

With a chronic low level of this important mineral, symptoms like weaker nails and nails that break easily aren’t uncommon. [7]

  • Brittle nails may signal low calcium
  • The nails chip and break very easy
  • Can be caused by other factors too

A brittle nail can easily crack, no matter how small the impact is.

Therefore, if you happen to notice that your nails aren’t growing well or that they look chipped and peeling, try to boost your intake of foods that are abundant in calcium like dairy, green veggies, salmon, nuts, etc.

Consult your physician if the nails don’t strengthen with diet improvements and home remedies.

6. Severe PMS

A calcium deficiency can cause severe PMS, regardless of a woman’s BMI.

In one study from 2017, the participants reported better mood and lowered fluid retention during PMS after taking 500 mg of calcium supplements for a period of 2 months. [8]

  • Low calcium can cause severe PMS
  • It reduces fluid retention
  • Helps boost the mood

Another review from 2019 showed that low levels of vitamin D and calcium in the second half of the menstrual cycle triggers PMS symptoms.

Even though PMS is something that every woman with a menstrual blood flow experiences, (some to a lesser others to a greater extent) lacking calcium may tip the scale.

Not having enough calcium in women may lead to depression, restlessness, and even hallucinations before the bleeding begins.

7. Dental issues

When the body doesn’t have sufficient amounts of calcium, it will begin to take it from other sources such as the teeth.

As a result, you’ll experience symptoms like brittle teeth, easily irritated gums, tooth decay, and oral health problems. [9]

  • Low calcium worsens the teeth’ health
  • May slow down tooth formation in kids
  • The teeth become brittle & the gums too sensitive

In children with calcium deficiency, the tooth formation may be delayed. Since calcium is a vital element for our teeth, its deficiency will have a negative impact.

The amount of it in the teeth will begin to drop and make your teeth more prone to cavities and weaker in structure.

If you’ve been experiencing this symptom, try to enrich your diet with foods that have calcium and consult your physician about supplements.

8. Depression

Although there’s need for more research concerning this symptom, calcium deficiency has been associated with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. [10]

According to one study, the intake of calcium was linked was inversely associated with the risk of self-rated depression. [11]

  • Low level of calcium increases risk of depression
  • Depressive people have lower levels of this nutrient
  • Linked with insomnia and fatigue, signs of depression

Lacking calcium chronically is known to contribute to some depressive symptoms like insomnia and tiredness.

What’s more, there’s research which has concluded that people with anxiety and depression have low levels of calcium.

Therefore, this nutrient plays a pivotal role in relieving depression and stress. And, it works closely with magnesium and other crucial nutrients to boost its effects.

9. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is one of the most common symptoms of calcium deficiency. [12]

Low calcium is linked to a low mineral bone density, known as osteopenia, which can lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis makes the bones thinner and more prone to fractures.

  • Osteopenia & osteoporosis linked with low calcium
  • Weaker bones are prone to fractures
  • Bones need calcium to stay strong

Even though osteoporosis is more severe, both of these conditions have a negative influence on the bones’ density.

Otherwise, the body will begin to take it from it, similarly to what happens when it takes away the storages in the teeth.

Women with a low BMI were found to have a higher chance of osteoporosis. [13] This is why it’s advised to keep a normal weight to minimize the risk.

Final Thoughts

Calcium deficiency is a health problem that’s characterized by a low level of calcium in the body. It’s a condition which can be recognized through several major symptoms that we discussed in detail.

The best way to up the levels is through diet and supplementation; however, if you experience any of these symptoms and you’re unsure of their origin, consult your physician!

Prompt treatment is pivotal to prevent the negative impact on the overall health.

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