Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will not getting enough calcium make my bones break easier?"
I'm 18 years old and never liked milk, so I don't drink it. If I don't get enough calcium, will I have bad bones? Will they break easier? Should I take a pill with calcium in it?
You can never ignore the importance of getting enough calcium in your daily diet. You know that calcium is important for your bones and teeth. But that's not all. Calcium also keeps your heart beating steadily, your blood stream, nerves and muscles functioning properly to maintain your body running smoothly. Since your bones contain calcium, your body will start stealing calcium from your bones to use for other functions if you do not give yourself enough calcium from your daily diet. The loss of calcium from your bones can eventually reduce your bone strength. Making sure that you get enough calcium is essential to ensure that your bones stay strong and to prevent osteoporosis which occurs when you have low bone mass. It is a serious, irreversible disease where bones can fracture and break easily. In fact, osteoporosis can make your bones so fragile that they can break with a firm handshake. Osteoporosis is now a major health concern, and there is no cure so prevention is key. To avoid osteoporosis, you should add other calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, broccoli and sardines to name a few, to your daily diet as well as vitamin D and exercise. Of course, you can take calcium supplements to further make up the calcium gap in your body. However, you should not overdo it with your calcium intake either. Although it doesn't happen often, too much of calcium can cause hypercalcemia or problems for your kidneys. I would recommend a consultation with a primary care doctor who can help you determine the exact amount of calcium to take for the best health results.
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