Calcium deficiency – An Indian perspective

calcium deficiency causes

Calcium deficiency is common in India. And the reasons for this deficiency is varied in different sections of the society. There are no such diverse groups anywhere in the world as that is in India.

So let us analyze each of them one by one.

1- Poor food quality

As per the recent global hunger index report, India stands at 96th position in the global hunger index out of 102 nations that were surveyed.

The organization has called it a serious matter.

Despite having surplus food storage, despite having the world’s largest food security plan, India is far behind. Even the poorest and most underdeveloped nations like Pakistan and Nepal are ahead.

And food deficiency directly leads to deficiencies of Calcium and many other important minerals.

Therefore, the first and foremost responsibility of the government and the society is to get the situation under control.

India has the world’s largest food security system. The only change that the government need to do is to plan it properly.

The government should organize a team of nutrition experts and come up with a plan for food that is full of nutrition but cheap and sustainable. This will help in the long run to eradicate calcium deficiency in the masses.

2- Modern lifestyle

Modern lifestyle is the culprit for many diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and a few others. And calcium deficiency is one of them.

You heard it right. Modern lifestyle that consisst of junk food is deficient in calcium and other essential minerals.

Kids or adults in cities love junk food. This junk food is specifically designed for taste and not nutrition. So don’t expect high brand burgers or pizzas to give you sufficient calcium.

So what is the solution?

The easiest solution is to add milk, fish and egg in your diet plan. For vegans the major challange is to find the best calcium rich vegan food and this is our next subject of discussion.

3- Vegan food

Usually people who are strictly vegan face calcium deficiency. They don’t take any sort of dairy products including milk. Dairy products are full of calcium. They are the major and cheap source of calcium and other minerals. And therefore, vegans find a shortage of calcium in their food and body.

How should vegans handle calcium deficiency?

Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that are rich in calcium. Vegans should include these food items in their daily diet and keep away calcium shortage.

Here are 6 calcium rich foods that Vegans can eat regularly to keep away calcium deficiency

  • Broccoli 80mg /100g
  • Kale 130mg / 100g
  • Oranges 55mg per orange
  • Almond milk 150 mg / 100g
  • Oatmeal – 140mg per 250g
  • Beans 130mg / 100g

Along with that sunlight is essential for the synthesis of calcium. Vitamin D is produced when you stay in the sun for a while. And this vitamin D is an essential ingredient that facilitates the use of Calcium by the body.

And therefore, this is our next topic.

4- Sunlight is essential to prevent calcium deficiency

Most part of India gets sunlight through out the year. And still people are getting deficient in calcium. What is the reason behind this?

India is basically an agrarian society. Most of Indians were farmers few decades back. But, after modernization and economic growth people have migrated to cities.

In cities they have a white collar job where they have to spend most of the time in the office. So the daily life cycle runs between home and offices.

Offices and homes are not ventilated. Conjusted housing is a common scene in India. and therefore these people do not get enough sunlight.

Thus they become deficient in vitamin D and Calcium.

So what is the solution?

The cheapest and easiest solution is to take out time to expose yourself to the sun light.

For example if you have no time during the week then use your weekend to get exposed to the morning sunlight as much as possible. This will enhance the sysntesis of vitamin D and thus you won’t have calcium deficiency.

5- Excessive dieting can lead to calcium deficiency

The biggest irony is that India is also the home to the world’s largest obese population. Especially in cities due to bad eating habits and modern lifestyle people are accumulating weight and fat.

And with weight gain the popularity of diet plans have increased. Some people take matters in their own hands and start depriving themselves of food. And this leads to multiple nutrient deficiencies including calcium deficiency .

One should always follow a well-planned diet plan for weight loss. Any attempt to starve yourself can damage your body permanently.

If you are already suffering from low calcium in your body then it is advised to consult a doctor and get vitamin D and calcium supplements.

Calcium is not only important for bones but it is a vital mineral for the entire body. Calcium deficiency has been associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in higher age groups, asthma in children, neurological degradation, and sometimes cancer.

So it can be dangerous for anyone to ignore calcium deficiency.

Here is a list of symptoms for calcium deficiency

symptoms of calcium deficiency

Calcium deficiency symptoms are common and appear in a wide range. Let us understand how you can detect calcium deficiency in your body by keeping an eye on the below-given symptoms.

1- Muscle spasms

This is the very initial symptom of calcium deficiency. You face muscle spams frequently. Muscle spasm can happen due to many other reasons and that includes deficiency of other minerals. But low calcium levels are common.

2- Depression or low mood

Another common system that you can notice is the low mood and in some extreme cases depression. If you face frequent low mood episodes then you should get y our calcium levels checked.

3- Muscle cramps is common in calcium deficiency

When you are really deficient in calcium and your body carves for it then muscle cramps become common. These are painful cramps and this is the wake-up call too.

4- Brittle nails

Extreme and prolonged deficiency leads to brittle nails. And this is the last stage that should not be ignored.

5- Confusion or blurred mind.

Low calcium often leads to a confused state of mind, no zest to complete day to day works, no excitement even in the most happiest moments.

But, remember these can be symptoms of depression too. So along with consulting a psychiatrist you should also get your calcium level tested frequently.

6- Numbness or tinglings in the peripheral parts.

When your body is deficient in calcium the most important organ that suffers is the nerves. And this leads to numbness or tingling in fingers, toes, etc. You should not ignore this as this might be caused by many other serious problems in your body.

7- Brittle bones and weakness

This is a common symptom that we all know. But, remember this is the extreme stage.

Calcium deficiency leads to brittle bones or weak bones. Anyone suffering with calcium deficiency should take care of their bones.

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