Calcium deficiency

In case of calcium deficiency there is too little calcium in the blood. "paw hands" are a typical symptom. Read all about it!

Calcium deficiency

On calcium deficiency (Calcium deficiency, hypocalcemia) can be life threatening. It is caused by reduced dietary calcium intake, kidney disease or hormonal imbalances, more rarely by increased calcium loss or need. A typical symptom is a muscle spasm on the hands. Read more about calcium deficiency here!

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calcium deficiency

  • What is a calcium deficiency?

  • Calcium deficiency: symptoms

  • Calcium deficiency: what to do?

What is a calcium deficiency?

In the human body up to 1.5 kilograms of calcium are stored in the bone. Only a small portion of the dietary calcium circulates in the blood or is found in the body's cells. There, however, it is involved in many metabolic processes. In muscle cells (including heart muscle cells), for example, only the calcium influx leads to a muscle contraction.

The level of calcium in the blood is influenced by hormones, vitamin D, the phosphate metabolism and finally by food intake. Various factors can cause the mirror to drop below the normal range. Then a calcium deficiency (hypocalcemia) occurs. Possible causes are for example:

  • Hypoalbuminemia = deficiency of albumin (an important protein in blood plasma), for example in cirrhosis of the liver
  • Disturbed intake of vitamin D or calcium, for example in celiac disease or rickets
  • Kidney failure (renal insufficiency)
  • Hyperthyroidism (hypoparathyroidism)
  • Acute pancreatitis (acute pancreatitis)
  • certain medications (antiepileptic drugs, some diuretics, cortisone)

Calcium deficiency: symptoms

A calcium deficiency often runs initially without discomfort. Sometimes there is a tingling sensation around the mouth, on the hands and on the feet. If the doctor examines the reflexes, they are often elevated. This means that the muscles twitch violently when the doctor taps certain areas with the reflex hammer.

Sometimes the heartbeat slows down, in extreme cases the heart may weaken or even stop. Depression and anxiety can occur. A very typical sign of a severe calcium deficiency is the so-called tetany. These are cramps or spasms on the hands and feet. The hands take a so-called paw position, on the feet occurs a Spitzfußstellung, that is, the toes show sitting down to the ground.

Calcium deficiency: what to do?

In mild hypocalcemia, one can try to increase the calcium level by consuming calcium-rich foods. If necessary calcium-containing preparations such as effervescent tablets, powders or juices must be taken. In case of severe calcium deficiency, the person concerned must be treated due to the risk of cardiac arrest in a hospital. There, the calcium deficiency is often treated by infusions. Is a disease for thecalcium deficiency responsible, this must be dealt with.

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