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What Are the Treatments for Calcium Deficiency?

By C.B. Fox
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Depending on the severity of a calcium deficiency, there are a number of ways patients can be treated for the disorder. Mild cases may be treated by adjusting the patient’s diet or adding vitamin supplements to a calcium-rich diet. More severe cases of calcium deficiency may require the use of either over-the-counter medicines or prescription medications. Once a patient has been diagnosed with this sort of mineral deficiency, it is important to begin treatment promptly because a long-term calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.

For most people, it is possible to get an adequate amount of calcium through the diet alone. Patients with a mild deficiency of calcium may be able to correct the condition simply by consuming more foods that are rich in the mineral. Dairy products, such as yogurt, milk and cheese, contain a lot of calcium, and it is common for doctors to recommend an increase in the amount of dairy consumed as a simple way to increase calcium. There are a number of other foods that are rich in calcium, as well, including almonds, dark green leafy vegetables and bony fish such as salmon and sardines. Many legumes also have a lot of calcium in them.

Patients who are unable to get enough calcium through the diet alone may be prescribed dietary supplements to help boost calcium levels. Calcium supplements may be taken alone or in conjunction with vitamin D supplements, which are used to help the body make use of the calcium it's given. Both of these supplements are readily available and inexpensive. A medical professional will prescribe a certain dosage for each of these supplements.

Occasionally, anticoagulant drugs may be used in the treatment of calcium deficiency. Though the primary use for drugs in this class is to prevent life-threatening blood clots from forming, some of them can help the body hold onto extra amounts of calcium. The prescription of these types of drugs to treat a calcium deficiency is uncommon, though, because supplements will often correct the problem.

In some cases, an underlying medical condition may cause a calcium deficiency. In this case, the condition that causes the calcium deficiency needs to be taken care of to treat the mineral deficiency. Patients may be prescribed calcium or vitamin supplements to take while the condition is being treated, though this may be only a temporary solution to a long-term problem.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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