We all know that calcium is important for keeping the bones strong and preventing osteoporosis. So should you start overdosing on calcium supplements to ensure that your bones are out of harm’s way? Not quite! Just like with anything else on the planet, the consumption of too much calcium is bad for you.
Before we start tackling the dangers of excessive calcium intake, it’s important to note that the recommended amount of calcium you should be taking per day ranges from 1000 to 2000 mg, depending on your age. Some people may need to take a little more calcium than the rest because of a deficiency in the said mineral.
There are a handful of medical conditions that can be treated and prevented by calcium or a particular type of it. One of them is kidney failure, which requires the amount of phosphate in the blood to be controlled. Another medical condition is hyperkalemia, which is characterized by high levels of potassium in the blood.
Definitely, having low levels of calcium in the blood, a condition known in the medical world as hypocalcemia, warrants the administration of calcium, sometimes by mouth and sometimes intravenously. Something as simple as indigestion can be managed effectively by calcium, in particular calcium carbonate which is an antacid.
It is your doctor who can tell whether or not you should pop a calcium supplement in your mouth daily. But for most people, in particular those who go for a well-balanced diet, supplementing with calcium is usually not necessary because you can get good amounts of it from milk, dark green leafy vegetables and fortified food products.
So what are some the cons of too much calcium intake? Here they are:
Increased Risk of Heart Disease
According to a study conducted by scientists from Uppsala University that spanned nearly 20 years, middle aged and elderly female participants who consumed more calcium than necessary a day had increased risk of dying from heart-related problems than those who took just the right amount of calcium daily.
Bone Pain and Other Skeletal Problems
Even though calcium is important for keeping the bones strong, taking the said mineral in excessive amounts can actually be bad for the bones. For instance, experts say that taking more calcium than necessary can cause bone pain. They add that your risk of having fractures is increased as well. Overdosing on calcium may lead to height loss, abnormal curvature of the spine and the bowing of the shoulders.
Kidney Stones and Kidney-Related Issues
Based on a new study, individuals who take calcium supplements are at greater risk of developing kidney stones than those who obtain their calcium via the diet. Other problems related to the kidneys that may arise from excessive intake of calcium include one-sided flank pain, increased thirst as well as excessive urination.
Various Digestive Symptoms
Taking more calcium than necessary may lead to loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea, clear indicators that too much of the mineral can have an impact on the digestive system, too. Your abdomen may hurt as well. According to experts, someone who is overdosing on calcium may end up constipated.
Depression, Mood Swings and Memory Loss
Excessive calcium in the blood can lead to a handful of psychological problems, too. You may end up depressed and you may feel irritable at times. In addition, you may find that your memory is not as sharp as before.
Problems Concerning the Muscles
Did you know that calcium is an electrolyte? It’s for this reason why the intake of sufficient amounts of calcium is vital for the proper functioning of your muscles. However, it is an entirely different story if you are taking the said mineral excessively. Muscle weakness and twitching — these are signs that you are consuming too much calcium.