Alarming Signs You Are Calcium Deficient

You’ve probably heard about vital minerals we need for our bodies for optimal function. These minerals include potassium, chloride, sodium, sulfur, zinc, iron, magnesium, fluoride, selenium,… Monica Gray - February 27, 2024

You’ve probably heard about vital minerals we need for our bodies for optimal function. These minerals include potassium, chloride, sodium, sulfur, zinc, iron, magnesium, fluoride, selenium, copper, and calcium. Calcium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in bone health, nerve transmission, muscle contractions, and blood clotting. And even though it’s so important, many people overlook its significance in maintaining adequate calcium levels in their bodies.

According to Victoria Kang, a family medicine physician, “Calcium is a token to get different body organ systems to work, and it forms and maintains healthy bones since most calcium is stored in your bones. Calcium also helps your heart muscles pump and transmits signals to your nerves so your muscles contract.” Furthermore, Kang says if you’re “pregnant or breastfeeding, you should increase your daily intake to 1,200 mg to 1,300 mg. For context, milk contains 305 mg of calcium per cup, Parmesan cheese has 331 mg of calcium per ounce and 8 ounces of plain, full-fat yogurt has 274 mg of calcium.”

Farm Health Online

Brittle Bones

A surefire sign of calcium deficiency is brittle and weakened bones. This leads to conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia. If you have a calcium deficiency, you might experience an increased risk of fractures, even from simple falls or minor accidents. Going to the doctor for an X-ray might reveal reduced bone density and signs of bone thinning, indicating inadequate calcium levels in the body.

According to Sprint Diagnostics, “Our bones undergo continuous remodeling, with calcium entering and exiting daily. During childhood and adolescence, the body replaces lost bone more rapidly than it degrades, leading to an increase in bone mass. However, this process evens out around the age of 30. In later years, especially for post-menopausal women, bone breakdown outpaces new bone formation, potentially resulting in osteoporosis.” If you’re experiencing these fractures, you might be calcium deficient (Sprint Diagnostics).

The Hayden Institute

Muscle Cramps and Spasms

Calcium is essential for proper muscle function, including contraction and relaxation. Without all that calcium, our muscles would be constantly stiff! But without the proper amount of calcium in our bodies, our muscles are affected. A calcium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, spasms, and stiffness, particularly during physical activity or at rest. If you’re someone who constantly has strange cramps in your legs, it might be time to look into it.

According to physician Victoria Kang, “Because calcium helps with muscle contraction, low levels of the mineral means you might experience more muscle cramps than usual, Kang says, specifically in your back and legs.” Cramps commonly occur in the legs, feet, and back muscles, causing discomfort and limiting mobility (Cedars Sinai).


Tingling Sensations

When it comes to calcium deficiency, the first signs might not even be noticeable. You might have numbness, tingling, or pins-and-needles sensations in the hands, feet, or around the mouth can indicate calcium deficiency.

These symptoms may result from impaired nerve function due to insufficient calcium levels, affecting the transmission of nerve signals. Dietician nutritionist Megan Denos said, “numbness or tingling in your fingers can be a sign that your body hasn’t been getting enough calcium. She said boosting your intake can start with the food on your plate.” If you’re experiencing this tingling, it might be time to look at your diet, specifically your calcium (Business Insider).

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Dental Problems

Similar to osteoporosis, calcium can cause calcium problems in your teeth. Calcium is vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Individuals with low calcium levels may experience tooth decay, gum disease, and weakened tooth enamel.

According to University General Dentists, “Your jaw bone is the anchor for your teeth, so if it becomes damaged or weak; it is more likely your teeth will loosen and possibly fall out. Along with osteoporosis, a deficient level of calcium can increase your risk of periodontal, or gum, disease. If you start noticing an increase in cavities or chipped teeth, it is time to reach out to a dentist.” Just like your bones, your teeth have all the answers. Consider new dental issues such as cavities, tooth sensitivity, and increased risk of periodontal disease. These can be alarming signs of calcium deficiency (University General Dentists).

Eating Well

Fatigue and Weakness

Chronic fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of calcium deficiency. In our bodies, calcium plays a huge role in our energy metabolism and muscle function. Inadequate levels can lead to feelings of tiredness and lethargy. Even with sufficient sleep and rest, individuals may still experience persistent fatigue due to low calcium levels. And no amount of sleep is going to fix it. That’s where your diet comes in.

This fatigue is a result of your cells being undernourished, such as in the case of hypocalcemia. While there are a lot of things that can be attributed to fatigue, calcium is one of them, and an important one at that. If your fatigue is paired with any of the other symptoms, then it could very well point to a calcium deficiency (Health).


Irregular Heartbeat

Our heart needs calcium just as much as our muscles, teeth, and bones do. Calcium is essential for maintaining normal heart rhythm and function. A calcium deficiency can disrupt the electrical impulses that regulate the heartbeat, leading to palpitations, arrhythmias, or other cardiac abnormalities. This is a huge sign that you might be deficient. It’s important to get this checked out, regardless, because it could point to some serious complications.

In one case, a man went to the hospital after passing out multiple times. After the doctors conducted tests, it turned out that “Given his positive response to therapy, he was discharged on oral calcium and vitamin D supplements (marketed as Calcichew D3 tablets). Supported by these findings, the man was diagnosed as having profound hypocalcemia secondary to primary hypoparathyroidism.” Similar to this case, and any other case, individuals experiencing heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat should consult a healthcare professional to rule out calcium deficiency as a potential cause (Hypoparathyroidismnews).

BBC Science Focus

Poor Nail Health

Calcium affects nearly every part of our body. Brittle, thin, or ridged nails may indicate calcium deficiency. Calcium contributes to nail strength and integrity, so low levels can result in brittle nails that are prone to splitting, breaking, or peeling. If this is happening often, it might be time to look at your diet.

According to the Endocrine Center, “Although nails and bones are made up of different substances, they’re similar enough that poor nail health may be an early marker of bone density problems.” Your calcium-deprived nails will also grow very slowly. But it’s important to get tested since all nutrient deficiencies can slow down the growth of nails. Improving calcium intake through diet or supplementation may help promote healthier nails over time, and it’s important to start doing that sooner rather than later (Endocrine Center).

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Self Decode Labs

Cognitive Impairment

If you’ve been experiencing brain fog recently, it might be time to look at more than just your sleep schedule. Calcium plays a role in neurotransmitter release and neuronal function, influencing cognitive processes such as memory, learning, and mood regulation, which means it’s a necessary element for your brain health!

Chronic calcium deficiency may contribute to cognitive impairment, including memory problems, mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, and difficulties concentrating and staying focused. This, paired with many of the other symptoms on this list, are important indicators that you might be calcium deficient. Adequate calcium intake is essential for maintaining optimal brain health and cognitive function throughout your entire life. It’s assumed that these symptoms might arise from calcium deficiency in the brain. This is where calcium is critical for proper nerve cell function (Hypoparathyroidismnews).

Medical News Today

High Blood Pressure

It’s been proven that there’s a potential link between calcium deficiency and high blood pressure (hypertension). If you have high blood pressure but can’t figure out why, it might be time to take a look at your diet, specifically calcium. Calcium helps regulate blood vessel constriction and relaxation, so inadequate levels may contribute to elevated blood pressure.

According to Cochrane, “High blood pressure has been identified as a major risk factor for mortality and even small reductions in blood pressure can decrease the occurrence of coronary artery disease, stroke, and death.” Individuals with hypertension should ensure they consume adequate calcium through diet or supplementation as part of a comprehensive approach to blood pressure management to avoid these negative consequences (Cochrane).

Office on Women’s Health

Severe Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

If you experience troublesome PMS symptoms, this might suggest you have low calcium levels. This includes irritability, bloatedness, and low mood. A study was conducted that looked into using calcium to treat PMS during a woman’s cycle and found that it did have some impact on their mood.

The study wrote, “The results of the mentioned studies suggest that treatment with calcium supplements is an effective technique for reducing mood disorders observed in PMS. Furthermore, calcium supplementation is a cost-effective, beneficial, and effective treatment for reducing symptoms of PMS.” A longer daily intake of calcium helped relieve the symptoms (NIH).


Dry Skin

If you have dry and flakey skin, it might not be the dry air. If it’s paired with any of the other symptoms on this list, you might have a calcium deficiency. Calcium plays an important role in skin health through its involvement in physiological processes. When someone has a calcium deficiency, it can lead to a weakened skin barrier function, which may result in moisture loss, which eventually leads to dryness. It might also impair the skin’s ability to regenerate new cells and repair itself, which may exacerbate dry skin. Eventually, this might lead to itching, eczema, or dermatitis.

Ensuring sufficient calcium intake through a balanced diet or supplementation is essential not only for bone health but also for overall skin integrity and hydration. When calcium levels are low, the skin cannot maintain moisture and a healthy pH. Thus, your skin can dry out.” It’s thanks to this unhealthy pH that might lead to dry skin. Your skin might also become scaly and turn into eczema. It might also itch for some time (True Basics).

The Asian Parent

Height Loss

While this isn’t something that would happen right away, height loss will happen when a child does not have enough calcium growing up. When the body lacks sufficient calcium, it draws upon the minerals stored in bones to maintain normal cell function, which is a negative impact of calcium deficiency. Over time, this leaching weakens the bones, making them more prone to fractures and compression, as we’ve seen in other symptoms. As a result, vertebrae may collapse or shrink, leading to a noticeable reduction in height. This can happen at any age, but calcium is vital for children, especially considering it’s the age their bones are growing at a rapid pace.

According to Healthline, “Children who don’t get enough calcium may not grow to their full potential height as adults. You should consume the recommended amount of calcium per day through the food you eat, supplements, or vitamins.” If a child isn’t receiving enough calcium, it might eventually stunt their growth into adulthood (Healthline).



Do you have trouble sleeping? It might be more than having a lot on your mind. Insomnia can be one of the biggest symptoms of having a calcium deficiency. It sounds like a pretty easy fix for something so stressful. According to doctors, the “Lack of calcium stimulates gastric acid to increase, when gastroesophageal reflux disease will create damage to the gastric mucosa, even ulcers. This process is often accompanied by symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and nighttime stress that make the patient sleepless.”
Insomnia comes from the mineral’s role in regulating sleep patterns and supporting relaxation. It’s involved in the production and release of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. If you have insufficient calcium levels in your body, it might disrupt this process, which in turn might lead to difficulties in sleeping. Another negative effect it causes is neurotransmitter function, including those involved in promoting relaxation and calming your nervous system. These neurotransmitters are important, and they need calcium to function properly (Vinmec).