Calcium Supplements For Women: Choosing The Right One
Women are genetically different from men. Due to the many hormonal changes in a woman’s body throughout a lifetime, the body’s need for calcium also changes according to age and different factors.
If you are a woman, read on to know all about women and calcium. It is important information to retain and put to practise in order to prevent a whole range of diseases.
Why do women need calcium supplements?
Women generally need more calcium because it can help women to prevent osteoporosis. Women tend to be more prone to this sickness as compared to men.
Calcium is proven to play a crucial role in helping the body to maintain healthy bones.
Meeting the necessary calcium requirement is particularly important as a woman approaches menopause. This is because during menopause, there is a decline in the hormone estrogen, which causes a woman’s bones to thin faster.
Increasing calcium supplement intakes according to the recommended dosage could help prevent thinning bones.
Signs of Calcium Deficiencies
Many people, particularly women, are at an increased risk for calcium deficiency as they age. However, it might not be caught early as calcium deficiency, at the early stage, may not show any symptoms.
This does not mean that symptoms will not develop as the condition progresses.
In severe cases, symptoms of a calcium deficiency include, but is not limited to easy fracturing of bones, muscle cramps, weak and brittle nails and muscle spasms.
This deficiency can affect all parts of the body.
If you start experiencing other neurological symptoms like memory loss, numbness and tingling, hallucinations or seizures, make an appointment to see your physician as soon as possible as these are also signs of calcium deficiency.
Causes of calcium deficiency
With regards to the causes that result in calcium deficiency mentioned prior, we find that there are three most general and common causes amongst women: dietary, medicational and physiological.
Dietary refers to the simple issue of poor calcium intake over extended periods of time.
When dietary intakes are imbalanced and tends towards only certain food types, the body will encounter lack of nutrients found in food not regularly consumed.
There is also the challenge of medical conditions that affect dietary calcium intake. An example of this is in women who are lactose intolerant not being able to gain calcium from its most common dairy source.
The second cause for calcium deficiency is medicational. Some individuals are required to consume specific medications that may affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium due to long term health complications.
Any long term consumption of medication of any form will yield side effects. It is therefore essential to consult your doctor when being prescribed long term medication on its effect towards your health.
Women upon reaching the age of 50 will enter their menopausal stage in life.
The hormonal changes in menopause will severely affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium for use. This results in less of the calcium consumed being absorbed into the body for maintaining optimum calcium intake.
One of the simplest forms of calcium deficiency treatment is by making dietary adjustments.
Reconsidering daily food choices will go a long way in ensuring optimum calcium is absorbed into the body.
For those who are able to consume dairy products, consistently taking food like milk and cheese will help. Additionally, increasing the daily diet of leafy greens such as lettuce, cabbage and even broccoli will help supplement calcium into your diet.
Beans and legumes are also a good source of calcium and should be regularly eaten. You may even consider tofu as it is well known to be high in calcium and fairly easy to prepare!
To ensure that your calcium intake is sufficient, we highly recommend calcium supplements. These commonly come in the form of either Calcium Citrate or Calcium Carbonate, both easily found in your local drugstore or pharmacy. These products may range in dosage but usually in the 300mg - 600mg per tablet.
We recommend taking Nature's Farm calcium to supplement your diet.
How much calcium in a day should women have?
Young women aged 19 to 50 years are recommended to take 1000mg up to 2500mg of calcium while for older women who aged 51 and older are normally recommended to take between 1200mg and 2000mg of calcium.
This is because women in the older category are already in their menopause and postmenopause stages whereby they will need more intake of calcium supplements.
Therefore, women who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis need to take calcium supplements to complement their medication and as a form of treatment.
At the earlier stages of teenage development and growth, calcium intake for women reaches its peak at 1300mg per day.
It is important to note that this development stage requires such a significant amount of intake for the development of stronger bones at an early age to prevent the development of osteoporosis in later years.
Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels
This requirement then drops once teenagehood is past and calcium intake per day can be a 1000mg.
The development of stronger bone structures in women at earlier years is vital for the prevention of osteoporosis. Iit is much easier for the body to develop and grow stronger bones during teenage years than it is during 30s or 50s.
Such efforts at an early age will contribute to a lesser need for additional supplementary calcium sources in later years.
Between ages 31 to 50, a woman’s body requires simple consistency targeted at maintaining bone strength.
An upwards of 1000mg per day will more than sufficiently provide the calcium needs of women at this age. This is because growth and development has slowed and the body enters into maintenance of the strength of the bone.
Women over 50
Beyond the age of 51, women will typically begin to experience menopause and a decrease in estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is a key hormone when it comes to a female body’s ability to absorb and process calcium for bone strength.
Women tend to be more prone to osteoporosis that results in fragile and porous bones. To counteract this natural decline in the body’s ability to absorb estrogen, an increase in daily calcium intake will be required, adding up to 1200+mg per day depending on individual needs.
This additional intake of calcium will mitigate the lower absorption rate of calcium in a woman’s body, allowing sufficient calcium source for the bone structure to self-repair.
It would be healthy to note that high calcium intake like any supplement will result in side effects.
Most common of these side effects are bloating, gas and constipation. Excessive calcium intake has been known to result in the development of kidney stones.
Having said all this, we highly recommend a doctor’s consultation prior to taking calcium supplement as health and medical conditions may interact negatively with calcium supplement intakes.
Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age (online) Available at:https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/nutrition/calcium-and-vitamin-d-important-every-age [Accessed 06 August 2020]
Why is calcium so important to older women? (online) Available at: https://www.dotfit.com/content-5630.html [Accessed 06 August 2020]
Hypocalcemia (Calcium Deficiency Disease) (online) Available at:
https://www.healthline.com/health/calcium-deficiency-disease#neonatal-hypocalcemia [Accessed 06 August 2020]
Calcium Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments etc (online) Available at:https://www.letsmd.com/blog/what-is-calcium-deficiency-and-its-causes/ [Accessed 06 August 2020]
Calcium (online) Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-calcium [Accessed 06 August 2020]