Calcium is an element that is known by its chemical abbreviation as Ca, as well as its atomic number of 20. Laypeople recognize it as an important dietary mineral that plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones, skin, teeth, and fingernails.
Dietary experts recommend that people consume at least 1000 mg of calcium per day. It can be found in dairy foods, as well as tofu, dill seed, and cereals. It also is found naturally in sedimentary rocks. It was discovered formally as a chemical element in 1808 by English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy.

Signs of a Calcium Deficiency

As a dietary component, calcium prevents diseases that put people's overall health at risk. It minimizes the likelihood that both men and women will suffer from age-related osteoporosis. It also prevents teeth decay and tooth loss.

Someone who fails to consume enough calcium each day may suffer from conditions like brittle bones, loss of hair, and brittle or missing fingernails. Individuals who do not consume enough calcium are also at risk of suffering symptoms that range from chronic memory loss, mild to severe depression, hallucinations, numbness to the face, hands, and feet, muscle spasms, and hypothyroidism, or under active thyroid.

Calcium Excess

Alternatively, too much calcium can also cause a host of health concerns. Hypercalcemia, a condition that is caused by consuming too much calcium in one's diet, is linked to a disease known as hyperparathyroidism. Excessive calcium intake also puts people at risk of developing cancer of the lung, breast, and blood.

People who consume too much of this mineral may feel habitually thirsty or even become dehydrated. They also may feel dizzy, nauseated, suffer from constipation or regular vomiting, and have a decreased appetite. Too much calcium in one's diet likewise is known to cause people to develop kidney stones.