Calcium is one of important mineral elements in the body. It is known for good health of bones, teeth, nerves and muscular function.
Many people who tend to go for medical check-ups, especially in some of African health facility set-ups, forget the situation about their calcium levels in blood.
Calcium levels in your body can be low or high due to various healthy conditions. The normal routine focus is usually on low calcium levels known as hypocalcaemia. This is because the lowering of your blood serum calcium levels can be caused by various lifestyle conditions.
Hypercalcemia or high blood serum calcium levels become a clinical concern in individuals with some health malignancies or cancer that usually metastasize to the bones.
The body needs daily normal calcium levels to function normally. Hypocalcaemia can be caused by many factors. Some drugs for epilepsy or anticonvulsants, HIV/Auds, tuberculosis among many others have been found to lower body calcium levels in your body. Some individuals who have been on one of the therapies for a long time should be checked for possible hypocalcaemia.
Low levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) are highly implicated with low levels of calcium levels in blood due to their close physiological relationship. Actually, screening for hypocalcaemia after thyroid or parathyroid surgery should be mandatory in order to prevent or avoid prolonged hypocalcaemia.
High levels of parathyroid hormones or PTH are also inter-linked with hypocalcaemia especially in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Severe illnesses like acute pancreatitis, severe low levels of magnesium have also been implicated in low levels of calcium.
However, most of our readers tend not to focus on clinical causes and awaits doctors for information. It’s true that lifestyle should be checked because this is where you can have surprisingly low levels of calcium in seemingly healthy looking individuals.
Most vegetarians tend to be on a safer side because green leafy vegetables carry an appreciable amount of calcium than supplements or even animal products.
Therefore, people are advised to maintain a diet that is sufficient in fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin-D as well as dietary rich calcium foods like legumes, vegetables and a variety of fruits. Low levels of Vitamin D affect your calcium levels in the body and this can be explained in a complex clinical mechanism.
Actually, this is why people should take sunlight as a gift from God. In addition, people are advised not to take too much alcohol due to the possibility of very low calcium levels in blood.
Now after faced with low levels of calcium challenges, the next goal should be restoration of the blood calcium levels to normal. Some people choose supplements where as others choose natural methods.
In most cases, the severity of your calcium deficiency and the present symptoms may guide or force you to choose either a supplement or natural remedy. Supplemental treatment typically includes both vitamin D and calcium supplements.
Natural remedies for hypocalcaemia typically include a concerted effort to increase the high calcium foods and beverages consumed on a daily basis coupled with increased intake of foods that are rich for magnesium as well as exposure to sunlight for optimal vitamin D.
Both Vitamin D and magnesium are necessary for proper calcium absorption.
People who choose natural remedies should consider close cooperation with a nutritionist or dietitian for meal plan strategies because you will be required to have necessary amounts of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium.
One of the obvious key reasons to consider for natural therapy would be a predictable general body health with no side effects as compared to some supplements. Dietary foods usually contribute higher levels of calcium than supplements.
Natural methods are even much cheaper as compared to the cost of medications and supplements. Nutritious, fresh, high-calcium foods are less expensive as compared to medications used as supplements.
Orange and orange juice is one of the daily natural solutions that can help to raise your blood calcium levels. A freshly-squeezed organic orange juice usually contains at least 70 miligramme of calcium. It also contains plenty of vitamin C that significantly improves the amount of calcium your body absorbs. Besides vitamin C and calcium, oranges are also a great source of potassium, vitamin A and beta carotene.
Other common foods such as beans, especially fresh beans, spinach among many others contain a good amount of calcium.
Dr Joseph Kamugisha is a resident oncologist in Jerusalem, Israel