T Nation

Mineral Deficiencies/Calcium Supps


Who takes them?

It struck me that I've been noticing some signs of calcium deficiency, and I'm not sure whether I should be supplementing with calcium, or if it's more a function of inadequate magnesium/Vit D intake.

I have been supplementing with Vitamin D at 4,000iu/day (only for a couple weeks), and was very inconsistent in using ZMA because of the "not with calcium" and "not on an empty stomach" rules. I just don't remember to take something unless it goes with a meal because my memory blows. I should be getting my first order of elitepro today or tomorrow so magnesium can be ruled out after that.

So my 2 questions are: 1) If one corrects a vitamin/mineral deficiency, how long would it be until you notice the symptoms go away? --In my case it's dry skin, numbness/tingling of fingertips and just recently some minor petechia on my wrist.

The numbness in my fingertips has been there for probably a couple years since I first noticed (has SLOWLY gotten worse), and like an idiot I just assumed I have poor circulation and never thought about it again.

If Vitamin D deficiency was my culprit, should this have gone away after 2 weeks of supplementation or does it take longer? I've been googling all day and nothing I've found talks about correcting hypocalcemia and how long it would take to notice a difference. and likewise if hypomagnesia is my problem, how long would I need daily supps before I'm symptom-free?

2) Is it typical to supplement with calcium for those who don't eat dairy? And do calcium requirements increase with caloric intake, as obviously I'm eating more than the typical "healthy male" they have in mind when formulating guidelines. Also most of my protein comes from animal sources, not whey shakes, so by my calculations I've been getting under 1000mg/day of calcium for a while now.

Thanks. Oh and obviously I will see a doctor but my medical/dental insurance from my new job doesn't take effect till Nov. 1, so I was hoping for some knowledgable feedback here in the meantime before I go.


If you had a serious Vit D deficiency, then a blood test would be useful. If your levels were pitiably low, then you might use REALLY HIGH doses for a little bit. But you wouldn't want to do that if your levels were already high. (if you've been in the sun during the bright parts of the day, that's probably pretty solid though).

a calcium supp might be a good idea if you're not eating dairy at all. Otherwise, where would you be getting the calcium from? A crapton of spinach?

I wouldn't even know what the symptoms or hypocalcemia or hypomagnesia are, so I won't go there.


Broccoli has a lot, I eat a crapload of that and spinach.

Also I've recently upped my protein shakes per day so I'll get some from that. From what I've read, the earliest symptom is numbness/"pins in needles" in the extremeties (which I've noticed for a couple years now) and then red spots that turn into rashes which was recent. I'm sure these two symptoms could be any of a huge number of things, which is why I will get the blood test done when my medical insurance starts up again.

Just wanted to know if any knowledgeable people could weight in in the meantime. Another symptom of low calcium is dry flaky skin, which I get on my hands a lot...and now that I think about it, it gets markably worse during cold weather which could be due to less sunlight (vitamin D) which affects calcium absorption.

Frankly now that I've thought about it though, I'm sure there are 1000 possible reasons and I should just wait till I get my blood tested. No need to self diagnose.