Healing Properties of Calcium
A large increase in the dietary supply of calcium is needed in tetany(a condition marked by abnormal excitability of the nerves and muscles), and when the bones are decalcified due to poor calcium absorption, as happens in tetany, rickets, and osteomalacia. A liberal quantity of calcium is also necessary when excessive calcium has been lost from the body, as in hyperparathyroidism( over-action of the parathyroid gland) or chronic kidney disease.
In such cases, plenty of milk should be given. If this is insufficient, calcium lactate should be given. A teaspoon of calcium lactate weighs about two grams and provides 400 mg of absorbable calcium.An effective therapeutic dose is three teaspoons, given three times a day in water before meals. It provides about 3.6 g of calcium.
Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
- Deficiency of calcium causes changes in the bones and muscles.
- Calcium-deficient people look pale and listless, get tired, and become lazy.
- They are more sensitive to cold weather.
- They become nervous and suffer from mental derangements.
- Sweating around the head even during cold weather is the most obvious symptom of calcium deficiency in all ages.
- Deficiency of calcium may cause porous and fragile bones, tooth decay, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, insomnia, and irritability.
- Children who are born to calcium-deficient mothers generally suffer from calcium deficiency. In such children calcium deficiency becomes more prominent if there is no adequate supply of calcium, proteins, minerals, and vitamins in the form of whole milk, fresh fruits, and vegetables. These children fail to grow or develop healthy and strong bones. They lack appetite and if fed forcibly, may bring out all the food and milk. They suffer from indigestion and diarrhea. They suffer from late and defective teething, and are prone to having emaciated necks and enlarged heads. Deficiency of calcium lowers the body resistance and these children become an easy prey to respiratory and intestinal infections.
- Deficiency of calcium in young girls causes late puberty, irregular menstruation, excessive bleeding with cramps pain, anemia, and lowered state of body resistance against infections.
- In case of an inadequate supply of calcium during pregnancy, the development of the fetus continues by drawing the reserve calcium from the bones, but the mother usually suffers from a difficult labor.
- Bleeding, lack of breast milk, poor concentration of the mind, a prolonged lying-in period – these are all common due to calcium deficiency after childbirth.
Precautions for Calcium Intake
Excessive daily intake of calcium of over 2,000 mg may lead to hyper calcaemia.
Calcium for healthy bones and healthy teeth
- The human body requires more calcium than any other mineral. The body of the infant at birth contains about 27.5 g of calcium, while the adult human body contains about 1,000 to 1,200 g. At least 99 per cent of this quantity is found in the bones and teeth, giving them strength and rigidity.
- The remaining one per cent, which is in the blood, muscles, and nerves, plays an important role in regulating important physiological functions.
- Calcium is a white, malleable, metallic element. Among other substances it is found in chalk, gypsum, and limestone. In the body it is found in various combinations such as calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, calcium fluoride, and calcium sulphate. All these compounds are formed from the calcium carbonate in the organism. Large quantities of fat, oxalic acid, and phytic acid in the food can prevent proper calcium absorption.
- Not all the calcium that is present in foods is available to the body. The absorption and retention of this mineral depends on its intake as well as other factors. Normally, approximately 20 to 40 per cent of this mineral is absorbed from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream. The amounts absorbed, however, may be greatly increased during periods of rapid growth when mineral needs are high. Absorption of calcium also depends on the healthy condition of the stomach and intestines and adequate supply of Vitamins B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and phosphorus.
- Calcium is excreted mostly through the urine and the stools. Excretion in the stools is increased when there is deficiency of fats in the food and when there is defective absorption of calcium in the intestine. It is estimated that the daily excretion of calcium through the urine varies between 100-300 mg in men and 100-250 mg in women. This quantity, however, varies and the excretion becomes less during calcium deficiency.