With everything you have to worry about and remember every day, it can be hard to remember to take your supplements. I can relate—I have a graveyard of forgotten jars and canisters of vitamins and powders in my pantry. I had the best intentions but, between putting on the coffee, microwaving my breakfast, and making it back to the sink before the electric toothbrush in my mouth beeped, I just didn’t remember to take my vitamins every day. But there are some vitamins and nutrients that, if you’re deficient in them, will make you pay the price and fast. Calcium is one of them. When you were a child, your parents might have forced you to chug a glass of milk every morning, so you were guaranteed to get your calcium fix that way. But, as you got older, you might have started opting for lower calorie or lactose-free foods and started missing out on this nutrient. Here are surprising signs you’re calcium-deficient.
You can’t sleep
If you toss and turn at night, it could be due to a calcium deficiency. Calcium is required to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps you relax at night and get those important Zzz’s. If you are taking a melatonin supplement, you could get to the root of the issue by taking a calcium supplement.
You have stubborn fat
Have you tried everything you can to lose weight but just can’t? Check your diet for calcium deficiencies. Having enough calcium helps your fat cells properly disperse and make use of fat in the body. Not having enough can mean your cells store rather than use fat.
This is a condition called Paresthesia, and it happens when the nervous system isn’t functioning properly due to calcium deficiency. It results in muscle numbness, tingling, and twitching. If you find you have regular muscles spasm, you may need more calcium.
Having enough calcium is important to the foundation of your teeth. When your teeth aren’t strong, it’s easier for them to develop holes and cracks, and for bacteria to get inside. If you’ve paid a pretty penny in fillings recently, it may be time to add calcium.
High blood pressure
Studies have found that taking calcium supplements can slightly lower high blood pressure in pregnant women, and may serve the same purpose in non-pregnant individuals.
Calcium is important to the healthy motion of muscles. Without enough calcium, your muscles can become tender, and can contract at odd times, resulting in what you feel as uncomfortable and frequent cramps. If painful cramps wake you up at night or prevent you from exercising, try adding calcium to your diet.
Because a calcium deficiency can lead to poor nerve and muscle health, it’s no surprise that those low in this nutrient can feel very tired. A calcium deficiency can also cause a loss of appetite, which, again, can worsen the fatigue problem.
You need sufficient calcium in order to properly absorb iron, and without enough iron, you’ll quickly see your hair grow coarse and dull. Iron plays an important role in hair follicle health and when your hair follicles are weak, your hair doesn’t grow as lustrous as usual.
Having enough calcium in your diet helps your epidermis with cell regeneration. Without enough calcium, your skin struggles to turn over old cells and bring in the new ones. This is why those with psoriasis in particular need to make sure they get enough calcium.
Even if poor cell turnover in the epidermis doesn’t result in flaky skin, it will likely result in dry skin, which always means itchiness. If you’ve been scratching your entire body nonstop, but can’t point to an allergy, you may be low in calcium.
A vitamin D deficiency
If you know you’re low in vitamin D, then you’re almost definitely low in calcium. Calcium needs proper vitamin D levels to absorb into your body, so when you’re lacking one, you’re lacking the other.
This is related to a vitamin D deficiency, and just one way you might know you suffer from it. If you’ve been feeling irritable, depressed, anxious, or suffering uncharacteristic mood changes, ask yourself if you’ve been getting enough vitamin D. It’s important to get it from the actual sun (wear SPF, of course). Without it, you’ll likely suffer mood changes. And then you can also likely expect a calcium deficiency.
Your body needs sufficient calcium in order to grow healthy, strong nails. If you constantly find that your nails are breaking, chipping, or showing white dots, then you’re likely low on calcium.
If you don’t consume enough calcium, then your lenses can calcify. You experience this as cataracts. Hopefully, you don’t allow your deficiency to get so bad that you develop this condition, though.
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to growing healthy bones. If you don’t have enough calcium, you can’t maintain a healthy skeleton and will likely experience some height loss over time.