The Calcium Crisis

What is Calcium?

Calcium CrisisAs adults, we have over 200 bones in our body.  Our bones survive from calcium which is a vital mineral that is needed in shaping and sustaining our bones from conception until the time we die.  Calcium is also the main component of our teeth, and plays an important role in the functions of the body.  What most people are not aware of is calcium is vital for the normal clotting of the blood.  In addition, calcium helps to regulate body fluids including hormones and enzymes.  There are other functions of the body that are motivated through calcium making it a greatly needed mineral for both men and woman.  And, while calcium is important for both men and women, there is an extreme level of importance for women.  Adult women require higher supplemental calcium intakes on a daily basis, and that increases largely after menopause.

Like all dietary needs and requirements it is always best for the body to get the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals through the nutrients of food, but that is typically not possible for women who live such busy lifestyle – more often than not, women rely on the supplemental calcium as a way of achieving their daily calcium requirements.  The requirements are 1000 to 1200 mg before a woman enters menopause and 1300 to 1500 during and after menopause.  The body is not able to make its own calcium, so what is put into it or is not put into it can have serious consequences on the body and mainly, the bones.

Women begin to experience an increase of bone loss around thirty.  Compounded with menstruation, and childbearing calcium loss can be a serious healthy crisis for many women.  Once a women begins menopause she can expect to lose anywhere from two to five percent per year for a minimum of five years, making calcium loss a major crisis for women.  Because of those added compounded issues for women, osteoporosis and other bone diseases for women.  These diseases can drastically alter a women’s life including serious bone fractures, stresses and breaks limiting her from living the lifestyle she desires.

But the calcium crisis for women does not start at thirty, or after children have been born or even at the onset of menopause.  The calcium crisis begins as children. It has been estimated that only 13.5 percent of young girls are receiving their required dietary intake as it pertains to calcium.  Almost all of bone mass, ninety percent has been established by the end of a woman’s teenage years, so ensuring young girls and teens are getting their required daily calcium is critical to their future.  If ninety percent of bone mass is established by the end of the teenage years, the deficiencies can be significant at menopause.  And, further, the damage is essentially done, women will lose bone mass as each year progresses, if they are entering the bone mass loss years with bones that are already ill-developed, then the battle for them will be long and painful.

There are many health concerns that women face throughout their lifetime, however, calcium deficiency does not have to be one of them, but statistics are showing that the calcium crisis among women is on the forefront of their health burdens.  There are ways to protect against the effects of lack of calcium.  Women need to monitor their dietary intake, and that begins at a young age.  Fad diets that can drastically reduce weight and jeopardize a woman’s health must be avoided.  Women and even teens should develop a pattern of exercise and weight lifting and weight-bearing resistance exercises including swimming and weight lifting.  Both of these types of exercise are known to improve calcium absorption and bone mass.

Women need to be aware of the calcium crisis and take charge of charting a healthy course in maintaining their bones.  Proper diet is key, supplements are crucial, and exercise will help women maintain strong healthy bones and confidently age.

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