There are 206 bones in a human skeleton which contain 99.5% of all the calcium in the body. The calcium present in the bones is available in case your body needs it for other purposes. Calcium is an integral part of well-being in humans and other animals. With the decrease in the levels of calcium in the bones due to any reason, the bones tend to weaken and can result in serious consequences.
Osteoporosis is one of the most common health issues faced by people today. It affects their mortality and morbidity. The intake of a proper amount of calcium is often overlooked by most of the people and even health care providers which lead to the weakening of our bones to the extent that the entire skeleton becomes vulnerable.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral that is needed by the body for maintaining good health. It is naturally found in some foods while can be added to others. You can also take your needed amount of calcium as a nutrition supplement available in different forms. It is best absorbed through the food we eat and the drinks we consume. If you are not getting the recommended amount of calcium intake, it can lead to the development of osteoporosis in your body.
Why is Calcium Important?
Bones are consistently being remodeled each day with calcium moving in and out of them constantly. In young age, the bone rebuilding process is faster than the rate of its breakdown, so there is an increase in the total bone mass in the body. This process continues until the age of 30. At this age, the rate of breakdown and formation of bones is almost equal. However, once you get past the age of 30, the rate of breakdown of bones increases as compared to their formation. This is very common among post-menopausal women. A diet low in calcium can contribute to the development of osteoporosis.
What Happens if the Body Doesn’t Get Enough Calcium?
Children require calcium to build stronger bones. Adults need it to maintain their bones. Inadequate calcium intake can lead to osteoporosis, also known as the brittle bone disease. The people suffering from osteoporosis are at a higher risk of breaking their bones, especially at the spine, wrist, and hip. The fractures take longer to heal and often lead to constant pain and lifelong disability. As many as 12 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. 25% of the women with osteoporosis often develop a vertebral deformity and 15% of them break a hip. As many as 30% of the people who break their hip die within a year.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
- Breaking bones easily
- Gradual loss of height
- Stooped posture
- Back pain
Osteoporosis can be prevented if you eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. In addition, reducing the intake of beverages containing alcohol and caffeine can also result in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. However, intake of the right amount of calcium is necessary to prevent osteoporosis.