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Calcium and Joint Pain

Can calcium cause joint pain? Find out.
by Amelia Wood
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"Drink your milk!" We've all heard it before. Our mothers basically pounded this sweet little adage into our skulls as kids. And why not? Milk is delicious.

Growing up we're taught that milk is "good for the bones" because of its high calcium content. Growing bones need ample amounts of calcium to stay strong.

But, many people do not realize as adults that too much calcium can actually cause some problems. This doesn't mean that drinking too much milk is going to harm you, but paying attention to the supplements you take and your diet is very important to your health.

Calcium is an essential mineral for our bodies, playing a vital role in a number of different normal bodily functions. However, normal concentrations of calcium in your blood actually fall within a very narrow range. This makes it a fairly common occurrence to have some sort of irregularity in one direction or another with calcium levels.

The Importance of Calcium

Calcium is the mineral in our bodies that builds bone and teeth, allows our nerves to signal muscles to contract, and aids nerves with transmitting signals to the cellular environment.

While much of this may sound overly scientific in many ways, they are all essential functions our body needs to preform to remain healthy and stable.

We obtain this important mineral primarily from our diets. Dairy products like milk and cheese and green vegetables are all high in calcium and essential elements of a balanced diet. For the most part, the average individual will maintain normal levels of calcium without any supplements or other issues.

However, there can be bodily issues that cause calcium to flood an individual's bloodstream or cause calcium to be scarce. As mentioned before, the "normal range" of calcium in the blood is fairly narrow, ranging between 8.4 and 10.2 milligrams per deciliter.

When Calcium Levels Vary

Excess calcium can be a result by many different things such as excessive bone breakdown, excessive calcium absorption in the gut, and excessive kidney reabsorption of calcium in your urine. Each of these cases indicates some sort malfunction with either hormones or some other function of your body.

While there can be numerous explanations for high levels of calcium, hyperparathyroidism is the most common cause. Parathyroid hormones cause your bones to release calcium into your blood stream.

When too much calcium is released into your system it is called hyperparathyroidism.

Symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism

There are several common symptoms that accompany hyperparathyroidism.

The most common of which is joint pain.

So, no, drinking milk isn't going to give you joint pain, but excessive calcium in your bloodstream can cause painful joints.

This joint pain occurs because of calcium crystals that are deposited in the joints. The knees are affected most commonly as well as the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. There are many treatment options for this condition, but nothing can be done without the diagnosis and guidance of a doctor.

Calcium balance is a very important issue for you and your body. If you think that maybe you are suffering from some of these symptoms or experiencing some of these issues, you should talk with your doctor and have them perform a blood test.

About the author:

Amelia Wood contributed this guest post. She pursues freelance writing projects in the medical billing and coding niche. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to wood. amelia1612 @ gmail.com - or post your comments below. 

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