Calcium is essential to our health, which is why nutritionists always advise us to incorporate it into our diet. It helps our muscles and organs function properly and also keeps our bones strong. This nutrient is also vital for neurotransmission and blood clotting.
But, what happens when you consume more calcium than your body requires? It leads to hypercalcaemia, which can lead to a number of problems.
What is Hypercalcaemia?
When the concentration of calcium in your blood goes up, you get hypercalcaemia. Several reasons could be behind it as follows:
- Usually, consuming too much calcium through your daily diet triggers it.
- A malfunction of your parathyroid glands could cause it. These glands are responsible for regulating calcium levels in your body.
- You may have been taking in too much of Vitamin D.
What are the symptoms of Hypercalcaemia?
A mild form of hypercalcaemia stays below the radar as it is not that harmful. But, a more severe form of this ailment is accompanied by symptoms like –
- Stomach Problems: Hypercalcaemia can cause stomach pain and cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and vomiting.
- Since your kidney is on an overdrive trying to flush out the excess calcium, you will feel a frequent urge to urinate. Also, this raises the risk of dehydration and you will frequently feel thirsty.
- Excess calcium affects the brain and makes you disorientated, confused and lethargic.
- You may experience agonizing pain in your bones and muscles.
- Some people with hypercalcaemia feel anxious and depressed. It can also prompt memory loss.
- High levels of calcium raise your blood pressure and can lead to arrhythmia.
What Complications Can Arise Out Of Hypercalcaemia?
A number of grave ailments can result from this disorder.
- Hypercalcaemia makes bones give off calcium. This weakens them and makes them prone to fractures. It also means reduced mobility and a strong possibility of developing osteoporosis.
- Since kidneys are unable to expel all the additional calcium, it starts depositing and eventually kidney stones are formed.
- Undiagnosed hypercalcaemia can inhibit the function of the kidneys and eventually lead to kidney failure.
- Excess calcium impedes the body’s nervous system. It can eventually cause coma.
Treatment of Hypercalcaemia
Mild cases of this disorder may not damage your health and do not require a doctor’s aid as calcium levels subside by themselves. But, the more severe versions of hypercalcaemia require medicines that lower calcium concentration and help in controlling the symptoms as well.
Can You Prevent Hypercalcaemia?
There are a few simple things you can do to keep your calcium levels stabilized.
- Exercise regularly to keep your bones strong
- Stop smoking as it is detrimental to bone health
- Consult a doctor before you purchase over-the-counter nutritional supplements.
- Both men and women below 50 years of age require 1000 milligrams of calcium every day. If you are over 50, you have to increase it to 1200 mg. So, try not to consume more than that.
Like all the other nutrients that are essential for the body, your intake of calcium should be moderated as well or it has the potential to cause terrible consequences on your health.