Calcium deficiency affects a person's bone health. It causes hypocalcemia, rickets, tooth decay, cataract, etc. Some of the common symptoms of calcium deficiency are; muscle spasms, memory loss, numbness in hands and feet, bones getting fractured easily, seizures, etc Though the main cause of calcium deficiency is poor diet, some medical conditions can also cause calcium deficiency like; liver problems, pancreatitis, hypothyroidism, etc. The treatment provided for calcium deficiency depends on the calcium levels of the patient. Calcium-rich foods such as beans, spinach, fish, broccoli, etc., are prescribed. In some cases, diet alone does not work, and supplements like calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, etc., are given. Additionally, if these fail, calcium injections are prescribed.

How Common is Calcium Deficiency?

While experts have not given the exact figures to factually say how common the deficiency is, there are some studies that can help us understand the same. In the United States, young girls above the age of 4, female teenagers are at a higher risk of calcium deficiency. On the other hand, among males, children and teenagers between the ages of 9-18 and the elderly above the age of 51 are at a higher risk. A study conducted in the UK indicated that people suffering from chronic conditions have higher chances of suffering from calcium deficiencies. According to estimates published in 2015, around 3.5 billion people in the world are at risk of calcium deficiency due to a lack of calcium in everyday diets.

The Main Health Risks of Calcium Deficiency

Calcium deficiency can cause many health-related illnesses and conditions that can lead to serious diseases and even hospitalisation. However, a health insurance plan can keep you protected against unexpected medical emergencies like those caused by calcium deficiency. Here are some of the main risks associated with calcium deficiency:

  • It can cause weakening of a patient's teeth, cataracts, brain alterations and osteopenia.

  • Calcium deficiency that is prolonged and chronic may lead to rickets, disrupted metabolic rates and bodily processes.

  • Chest pains, dry skin and tooth decay can be some other symptoms.

  • In babies, neonatal hypocalcemia may be detected within the first two days of birth if they are small for their age or due to maternal diabetes.

  • Symptoms of neonatal hypocalcemia include jitteriness, poor feeding, seizures, apnea (slow breathing) and tachycardia (faster heartbeat).

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

In order to correctly identify a disease or health condition, you need to be aware of what the symptoms of the particular disease look like. Here is a list of the calcium deficiency symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Memory loss

  • Muscle spasms

  • Depression

  • Numbness and tingling in hands, feet and face

  • Muscle cramps

  • Hallucinations

  • Weak, brittle nails

  • Easy fracturing of bones


Other symptoms of low calcium levels include slow hair growth and thin skin. Neurological symptoms include seizures, memory loss, numbness and hallucinations. In case you wish to remain covered against such disease, an individual or family health insurance plan is recommended.

Symptoms of osteoporosis, also caused by calcium deficiency diseases, include:

  • Brittle bones

  • Collapsed vertebra

  • Back or neck pain

  • Loss of height

  • Stooped posture

  • Receding gums

  • Weaker grip strength

  • Brittle nails


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Causes of Calcium Deficiency

While poor diet may be one of the main calcium deficiency causes, there are also some medical conditions that can lead to it if the body stops absorbing calcium from the food. Here is a list of medical conditions and disorders that may lead to calcium deficiency:

  • Pancreatitis

  • Phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin, corticosteroids, some chemotherapy drugs and other medicines used to treat elevated calcium levels

  • Inability to absorb nutrients because of low Calcium D levels

  • Hypermagnesemia and hypomagnesemia

  • Hyperphosphatemia

  • Massive blood transfusions

  • Septic shock

  • Renal failure

  • Hypoparathyroidism, which may occur due to an autoimmune disease or genetic conditions

  • Liver problems

  • Illnesses that affect the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Calcium Deficiency Diagnosis

In case you are suffering from any signs of calcium deficiency, you need to contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor may review your medical history and ask about any history of calcium deficiency such as osteoporosis in any family member. To test whether you have calcium deficiency, your doctor may recommend a blood test to check your blood calcium levels. Based on the results of your blood calcium test, an accurate diagnosis can be detected. If the results show that you do have calcium deficiency, the doctor will prescribe medications.

Calcium Deficiency Treatment

Your doctor will prescribe the accurate calcium deficiency treatment based on your level of calcium deficiency. Some of the common calcium deficiency treatments include:

  • The easiest and most obvious treatment for calcium deficiency is to include calcium-rich foods in your diet. Examples of such food items are dairy products, broccoli, beans, spinach, figs, nuts, seeds and some fish like salmon, sardines and rainbow trout.

  • However, sometimes, this may not be enough and supplements may be required. You should consult a doctor before taking these since excess calcium may raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases, kidney stones or hypercalcemia.

  • Some common calcium supplements are calcium carbonate, calcium citrate and calcium phosphate. Doctors may also prescribe calcium injections if neither changes in diet nor supplements can treat the deficiency.

  • A combination of a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D, as well as a healthy lifestyle, can help prevent deficiency of calcium. Vitamin D is necessary for maintaining healthy levels of calcium in your body because it helps absorb the nutrient in your blood.

How to Prevent Calcium Deficiency

The easiest way to prevent calcium deficiency is through having a balanced diet that contains plenty of calcium to fulfil your body’s needs. As per studies, it is also important to exercise regularly to make sure that the calcium is absorbed by your body properly. Exercising also keeps your bones strong for many years. In case you feel any symptoms of calcium deficiency, you should immediately consult your doctor. Do not take any supplements or medication without approval from a doctor. Given below is a list of calcium-rich foods you can incorporate into your diet to prevent calcium deficiency.

What are the Food Sources of Calcium?

With calcium-rich foods, you can lower your risk of developing calcium deficiency significantly. Foods rich in Calcium D are fatty fish, milk, orange juice and eggs. Also, regular exposure to the sun aids the creation of calcium in your body. However, you must be careful about what foods you consume since items that have calcium may also have saturated and trans fats. This increases cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. MultiCalciums are also a great way to incorporate more calcium into your diet. Regular exercise, maintenance of healthy body weight and reduced use of tobacco and alcohol can help make your lifestyle healthier and, eventually, aid in regulating calcium levels. 

Food Items

Calcium Per Serving


175 mg per cup

Dry Figs

65 mg every 2 figs


55 mg per unit


179 mg per cup


100 mg per cup


325 mg every 3 oz


180 mg every 3 oz

Skimmed low-fat milk

300 mg every 8 oz

Low-fat yoghurt

310 mg every 6 oz

Cottage cheese

105 mg every 4 oz

Fortified oatmeal

140 mg per packet

Final Takeaway

Calcium deficiency diseases can be treated by incorporating calcium-rich foods into the diet, but in severe cases, doctors may advise the use of supplements. Calcium requirements vary for people across sexes and ages, and middle-aged women face a higher risk of deficiency. However, simply taking care of yourself is not enough. Unexpected illnesses and accidents can happen to anyone. One way to make sure you can stay protected is to get a good health insurance plan for you and your family to stay prepared for any medical emergencies. If you are looking for health insurance, check out the health insurance plans from Bajaj Markets and enjoy benefits such as cashless claim settlement, easy renewals, and much more.

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FAQs on Calcium Deficiency

What are the symptoms of calcium deficiency in adults?

The following are the symptoms of calcium deficiency in adults:

  1. Muscle cramps

  2. Weak and brittle nails

  3. Bonus easily fracture

How can I raise my calcium levels?

You can raise your calcium levels by taking supplements and eating foods rich in calcium.

Can low calcium make you tired?

Yes, one of the symptoms of calcium deficiency includes fatigue and weakness.

What happens if there is not enough calcium in the body?

If your body does not get sufficient calcium for a long time, it compensates by taking calcium from your bones, reducing the bone mass.

Which are the foods rich in calcium?

Some popular foods rich in calcium include milk and dairy, green leafy vegetables, flour and soya milk.

What is the average daily calcium requirement for a person?

The average daily calcium requirement for an adult male is 1000 mg and for an adult female is 1200 mg. 

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