By: Liza Hud
Calcium is one of the primary minerals that your body needs and must be replenished regularly. This becomes even more essential if you are a patient of fibromyalgia. Calcium deficiency exhibits similar symptoms as fibromyalgia where patient suffers from intense muscle cramps and pains along with a severe fatigue. Calcium deficiency affects the health of your bones and cause difficulty in movement and carrying out daily routines.
- Muscle cramp is one of the initial signs of deficiency of calcium in the body.
- Muscle pain, especially in your arms, thighs and under arms while walking or moving is yet another sign of calcium deficiency.
- Calcium is an essential constituent for teeth and tooth decay is one symptom of deficiency of calcium.
- Calcium is said to be one of the main components present in your nails. When you suffer from brittle and weak nails, you are most probably having calcium deficiency.
- Delayed menstruation, especially in young girls, is yet another important sign.
- Premenstrual cramps also occur to women who have a deficiency of calcium content in their body.
The Relationship Between Calcium Deficiency and Fibromyalgia in Women
A large percentage of fibromyalgia patients constitutes of women in the middle age group. Similarly, calcium deficiency largely occurs to middle age women. It is a common advice for women to up their calcium intake via pills and supplements after their 30’s in order to avoid osteoarthritis, muscle cramps and other bone health related problems that results in difficulties in moving and activities involving the arms, legs and so on. Nevertheless, whether calcium deficiency leads to fibromyalgia remains a question mark. Several studies have, however, found a link between calcium deficiency and fibromyalgia.
In a 2000 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, researchers observed lower bone density in fibromyalgia patients compared to controls suggesting a presence of weak calcium metabolism in fibromyalgia patients. Acknowledging the importance of calcium ions in healthy muscular functions, a group of Italian researchers measured intracellular calcium concentration instead of serum calcium (more commonly investigated in other studies) in both fibromyalgia patients and controls. The 2000 Italian study found lower intracellular calcium concentration in fibromyalgia participants and suggested that it could be the reason for over tensed muscles in people with fibromyalgia.
In a later Korean study done in 2011, researchers found lower Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Manganese content the hair of fibromyalgia patients as compared to controls. The Korean researchers explained that hair mineral assay is more accurate in evaluating the intracellular activity of calcium and other minerals as compared to blood/urine test which was used in prior research but showed no significant difference between fibromyalgia patients and controls.
The findings of the above studies suggest a link between calcium and fibromyalgia. Calcium deficiency can result in muscle cramps, pain and fatigue. However, calcium deficiency in fibromyalgia may not be due to insufficient consumption but a weak metabolism of calcium causing low intracellular calcium content needed for proper muscle functioning. The studies above suggest a possibility of inventing a potential drug to maintain healthy calcium metabolism and intracellular calcium levels. Although, increasing calcium supplements may is not likely to relieve fibromyalgia pain, it is still recommended that fibromyalgia patients meet daily calcium requirements to maintain bone health.
- Young-Sang Kim et al. Women with Fibromyalgia Have Lower Levels of Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Manganese in Hair Mineral Analysis. J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Oct; 26(10): 1253–1257.
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