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Why Is My Calcium Level Low?

By Tammy Dray ; Updated August 14, 2017

Low calcium levels, or hypocalcaemia, can happen for a number of reasons. Although some people might experience no symptoms, low calcium levels might cause muscle spasms, numbness in the extremities, depression and seizures. Low levels of calcium may eventually lead to osteoporosis.

Diet

Probably the most common reason for low calcium is a diet lacking in it. If you don’t consume enough calcium regularly, your body will eventually start taking calcium away from your bones to make up for the difference. Over time, this can result in a deficiency. Caffeine and soda can also cause your body to lose calcium faster than normal and might result in low calcium levels.

Medical Conditions

A number of medical conditions can cause or aggravate loss of calcium. People with chronic kidney failure, damaged parathyroid glands or certain types of leukemia can suffer from low calcium. Chemotherapy might also cause low levels of calcium.

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Nutrients

Certain nutrients work together with calcium to keep the levels consistent. Too much or too little of those nutrients might affect how well your body absorbs calcium. Low levels of magnesium, vitamin D or albumin can affect your calcium levels. The same is true with high levels of phosphorus. Calcium also needs vitamin D to be absorbed properly. If you don’t spend enough time in the sun, you might be vitamin D-deficient and experience low calcium levels as a result.

Drugs

Certain drugs affect your body's ability to absorb calcium and can lead to deficiencies. Diuretics and laxatives are a risk if you take them too frequently or abuse them. Drugs like insulin, hormone replacement therapy and fluorides can also lower calcium levels if taken for long periods of time.

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