Calcium Deficiency and Leg Pain

milk
A pitcher and glass of milk. (Image: beyhes/iStock/Getty Images)

Calcium is a mineral needed by all humans to develop strong bones and teeth. Due to malabsorption or malnutrition, a person may not get enough calcium from diet alone and may have to take calcium supplements to prevent calcium deficiency. People who don't have enough calcium in the body may develop osteoporosis, which can cause bone pain.

Calcium Deficiency

Calcium deficiency occurs when the body consumes less than the recommended daily allowance of calcium over time. Calcium deficiency can be caused by not eating enough calcium-rich foods, changes in hormones during menopause, failure to menstruate and lactose intolerance. Vegetarians may also become deficient in calcium, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. If left untreated, people with these conditions could develop osteoporosis.

Symptoms

Leg pain in association with low calcium intake could be a symptom of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that is caused by thinning of the bones. This condition can be caused by several factors such as calcium deficiency. Symptoms of osteoporosis include bone pain or tenderness, fractures, loss of height, neck pain, fractures sustained through mild impact and stooped posture.

Treatment

Pain relief will be prescribed for leg pain associated with calcium deficiency. If the deficiency is due to a lack of nutrition, your physician may prescribe calcium supplements to take daily along with a vitamin D supplement for absorption. If the deficiency comes from a condition that is causing the decreased calcium levels, the disease may need to be treated as well.

Prevention

Prevent calcium deficiency due to poor diet by eating foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as milk-based dairy products. If you cannot tolerate dairy products, eat green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, which contains calcium. Take a multivitamin that contains at least 1,000 mg of calcium or a vitamin that contains 1,200 mg of calcium if you are older than 51, according to Harvard Health.

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