Calcium is the most abundant mineral present in our body. It serves many important functions in the body like keeping our bones & teeth healthy, maintaining bone density & proper heart functioning, and aid muscle contraction.
Therefore, it is very important to maintain adequate calcium intake in our diet. Calcium-rich foods like milk, milk products, ragi, soybean, kidney beans and lotus stem should be included. As per ICMR, 600 mg calcium per day is required to meet the daily needs and prevent us from deficiency.
Despite being such a vital nutrient, calcium intake should not be high, as an excess of calcium level is harmful to our health. Elevated levels of blood calcium are referred to as Hypercalcemia. Excess calcium intake is harmful to our health, in severe cases it might even prove fatal.
In this article, we will talk about some consequences of hypercalcemia. Before discussing the same, we need to know what causes calcium levels to go high. Hyperparathyroidism, excessive intake of calcium or vitamin D supplements, dehydration, cancer and some medications are the major causes of hypercalcemia.
Common signs of hypercalcemia are fatigue and headache. But it affects other organs as well.
1. Excessive thirst, excessive urination and formation of kidney stones are the renal related consequences of excessive calcium levels.
2. High calcium levels affect our abdominal health leading to pain, cramps, vomiting, nausea, constipation and decreased appetite.
3. Abnormal cardiac rhythms hence affecting heart health.
4. Muscle pain, spasms and twitching.
5. Elevated calcium levels weaken our bone health resulting in bone pain, increased susceptibility to fractures and osteoporosis.
6. Too much calcium in the body is not good for our brain health as well. It is associated with mental confusion, depression, loss of memory, coma and sometimes death.
There are several ways by which one can determine or diagnose hypercalcemia. A simple blood or urine test can be used as an indication. If the level is high then a physician might recommend further tests to confirm the same. Treatment therapy depends upon the causative factor. If the level is high due to overindulgence in supplements then immediate discontinuation is advisable. Similarly, in case of high calcium levels due to cancer, specific medications are recommended accordingly under careful supervision.
To sum up, calcium is an important mineral essentially required by all of us. Its requirement increases in some physiological conditions like pregnancy and lactation. But, too much calcium in the body is not healthy for us and can have serious health repercussions. It can affect kidneys, heart, brain and bones. Hence, make sure to maintain the intake within the prescribed range to stay healthy and strong.