The Role of Calcium and Vitamin D in the Development and Maintenance of Bone Structure

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Last updated: June 16, 2019

Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Research project: The role of calcium and vitamin D in the development and maintenance of bone structure What is Parathyrin? Parathyrin is a substance made by the parathyroid gland that helps the body store and use calcium. A higher than normal amount of parathyrin causes high levels of calcium in the blood and may be a sign of disease. Parathyrin is also sometimes known as Parathormone, parathyroid hormone and PTH. What is Calcatonin? Calcatonin is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland that lowers the level of calcium in the blood and promotes the formation of bone.The sole function of the parathyroid glands is to maintain the body’s calcium level within a narrow range, so that nervous and muscular systems can function properly. When blood calcium levels drop below a certain point, calcium sensing receptors in the parathyroid gland are activated to release calcatonin into the blood. What is the role of vitamin D? Vitamin D is formed when the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and is found in certain foods such as fish. The role of vitamin D in the body is to keep calcium levels normal in the blood, by controlling the supply of calcium between the bones and the blood.

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, helping to form and maintain bones. It does this by telling the body to absorb more calcium from food, or removing calcium from the bones if the blood supply of calcium is too low. Vitamin D distributes the right amount of calcium in the blood to help our bones grow and help our bodies stay healthy. Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Calcium As found from Mdadvice. com Calcium is a mineral component of blood that helps regulate the heartbeat, transmit nerve impulses, contract muscles and form bone and teeth. Too much calcium (hypercalcemia) or too little calcium hypocalcemia) can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening medical problems. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of both: Too little calcium: * Muscle spasms, twitching or cramps.

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* Numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands and feet. * Seizures. * Irregular heartbeat. * High blood pressure.

Too much calcium: * Lethargy. * Appetite loss. * Vomiting and diarrhoea. * Dehydration and thirst. * Irregular heartbeat.

* Low blood pressure. * Depression, delirium, confusion.* Seizures or coma (worst cases only). Too little calcium: * Underactive parathyroid glands from disease or damage during neck surgery. Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. * Malabsorption from the gastrointestinal tract (usually for unknown reasons). * Severe burns or infections. * Pancreatitis.

* Kidney failure. * Decreased blood levels of magnesium. Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Too much calcium: * Overactive parathyroid glands. * Multiple fractures and prolonged bed rest; multiple myeloma. * Tumours that destroy bone. RISK INCREASES WITH : Too little calcium: * Use of certain drugs, including thiazide diuretics and calcium-channel blockers. * Injury, cancer or surgery of the thyroid gland or parathyroid glands.

Excess alcohol leading to poor nutrition. Too much calcium: * Improper diet, especially overconsumption of milk products or antacids containing calcium. * Repeated transfusions with citrated blood.

* Chronic kidney disease. * Inactivity or prolonged bed rest. Medication: A doctor may prescribe: * Intravenous calcium gluconate or calcium carbonate for too little calcium. * Intravenous saline solution and loop diuretics (furosemide and ethacrynic acid) for too much calcium Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Can you have too much vitamin D? Yes you can, but scientists are starting to believe it is not as great a risk as they once thought.Too much vitamin D can cause loss of appetite, nausea, depression, weight loss, and may cause deposits of calcium to build in the kidneys.

Curing Vitamin D deficiency In order to cure the Vitamin D deficiency, there are multivitamins or straight vitamin D supplements. Most people need about 2,000 units of vitamin D everyday. The next way to help your deficiency is to increase your sun exposure, get out and take a long walk in the sunshine.

Lastly eat vitamin D rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables, fish and sun dried produce, and of course drink some milk.You will feel better, become stronger and ultimately eliminate your Vitamin D deficiency. Health problems associated with calcium levels and the human skeleton. There are many health problems associated with calcium levels in the body. A lack of vitamin D in children and infants can result in a bone disease known as rickets. Adults who suffer from a lack of vitamin D are also at greater risk of developing osteoporoses, which causes a softening of thinning of the bones. I am going to research these illnesses further: Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Rickets According to Mayoclinic.

com, Rickets is the softening and weakening of bones n children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gastrointestinal tract. A deficiency of vitamin D makes it difficult to maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels in bones, which can cause rickets. If a vitamin D or calcium deficiency causes rickets, adding vitamin D or calcium to the diet generally corrects any resulting bone problems for your child. Rickets due to a genetic condition may require additional medications or other treatment.

Some skeletal deformities caused by rickets may need corrective surgery.Bowing of long bones in legs Pot Belly The pictures above show the affect that rickets has on a child’s body. Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Some of the common effects of Rickets * Knee knock deformity * Windswept deformity * Bowleg deformity (Genu varum) * Bowing of long bone in legs * Wrist enlargement * Ankle enlargement * Rib beading (Rachitic rosary) * Chest deformity * Scoliosis * Tibial bowing * Frontal bossing Before Treatment and 2 years after with Calcium treatment. Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Osteoporosis According to endocrineweb.

com, Calcium levels are regulated by the parathyroid glands, which is their sole purpose.Through the secretion of parathyroid hormone, these four small glands regulate how much calcium is absorbed from our diet, how much calcium is secreted by our kidneys, and how much calcium is stored in our bones. We store many pounds of calcium in our bones, and it is readily available to the rest of the body at the request of the parathyroid glands. When one of the parathyroid glands is overactive the parathyroid tumor makes too much PTH hormone which then causes our bones to release calcium constantly into the blood stream.

This causes the bones to lose their density and hardness (it is the calcium that makes them hard).Loss of calcium from bones is called osteoporosis. Bones which are osteoporotic are more likely to break. The osteoporotic bone has bigger holes in it as a result of the calcium being dissolved and put into the blood stream (caused by excess parathyroid hormone, advanced age, and lack of estrogen in older females). The osteoporotic bone is not as strong and therefore, more susceptible to fractures. This continued dissolving of the central bone is what causes the bone pain so common to hyperparathyroidism. It is also what contributes to the weakening of the spinal column resulting in elderly persons walking “hunched over.

Our bones are at their strongest in our early 20s. They stay at this level of strength for a number of years, but then begin to lose strength slowly when we are in our mid 30s. Once we hit mid-life, we all lose a little bone density, but this is most evident for women. Estrogens have a protective effect on bone density which becomes evident after menopause when women begin to lose calcium from their bones at a faster rate than men of the same age. Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Osteoporosis Continued That is one of the reasons most doctors feel that most post-menopausal women should be on some form of estrogen therapy.Now the problem becomes apparent. Overactive parathyroid glands secrete too much parathyroid hormone. This causes calcium to leave the bones and go into the blood.

The bones become osteoporotic and prone to fractures. The problem is amplified greatly in post-menopausal women since this process is ongoing already. This can also be a big problem for people of all ages if it goes on for several years, making the bones weaker year after year. This picture shows a normal bone section on the bottom and a bone with osteoporosis on the top. ConclusionMy research shows that it is vital for the body to have enough vitamin D in order to be able to absorb and distribute sufficient levels of calcium to the bones, in order to develop and maintain a healthy bone structure. This will then lower the risk to Rickets, osteoporosis and other health conditions caused by these deficiencies.Anatomy and Physiology Assignment Bibliography mdadvice.

com/library/symp/illness Mayoclinic. com endocrineweb. com thachers. org/rickets_photos Reading List osteoporosis-treatment-information. com/osteoporosis nof. org healingwithnutrition. com/odisease/osteoporosis/calcium

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