Osteoporosis Awareness Month: Calcium’s Role In The Body

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. It helps your body build strong bones. Calcium is also stored in your teeth. This mineral is needed for muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting. More than 99% of calcium is stored in bone tissue, making bone health largely dependent on calcium levels. Calcium has several roles and functions, including:

  • Bone and Tooth Formation – Calcium builds and maintains strong bones and teeth. Without calcium, bones become weak and brittle.
  • Muscle Contraction – Muscle contraction refers to the tightening or lengthening of muscles when doing an activity. Without enough calcium, your muscles would not relax after tightening them. Muscles that can not relax risk becoming stiff over time or experiencing twitching.
  • Blood Clotting – After an injury, the body relies on blood clotting factors to stop blood vessels from losing too much blood. Calcium activates clotting factors.

How To Consume More Calcium

Calcium is found in a variety of foods, including:

-milk

-yogurt

-cheese

-canned sardines

-salmon

-kale

-broccoli

-bok choy

What If I Don’t Get Enough Calcium?

According to the National Library of Health, low calcium levels are associated with an increased risk for bone fractures, falls, and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.

About 200 million people all over the world suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. People with this condition risk fracturing their hip, wrists, or spine. It usually develops with little to no symptoms and/or pain. 

What causes osteoporosis?

Bones are made up of growing tissue. The inside looks similar to a sponge. The outer part is a shell. Osteoporosis occurs when the insides of bones become weak and bone mass is lost at a quicker rate than usual. 

Understanding The Risks

Age & Gender – Women are more likely to develop the condition than men, especially those over 50 experiencing menopause. Menopause lowers the production rate of estrogen. Estrogen helps prevent bone loss. 

Ethnicity – Caucasian and Asian women have higher chances of developing osteoporosis than other groups.

Body Frame & Weight – People with smaller body frames have less bone to lose than bigger individuals who weigh more, increasing their risk of developing osteoporosis.

Medical History – Health conditions that affect hormone levels may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Talk to your primary health care provider if you have (or had) the following:

  • Overactive thyroid or adrenal glands
  • Weight loss surgery 
  • Organ transplant
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Blood diseases

 

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