British Lung Foundation
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freak diagnosis: calcium deficiency induced heart problems?

So I posted here the other day that I've been getting periods of being out of breath. My lungs are usually open, there is no constriction. This always pops up a handful of hours after running or other endurance workout, in the middle of the night. I fainted two days ago when running as I just ran out of air. My running sensor showed that my heart was beating as always during exercise.

So, yesterday I felt out of breath for most of the day, with periods where I was fine. Around the evening I had to call 999 as I was not able to drive to R&E myself. Had just taken my minerals a while before that. 90 minutes later I was normal again. Tracing back the day it seems like I always felt fine about 90-120 minutes after having taken calcium. I loaded up on calcium and magnesium before going to bed, and when I woke up briefly around midnight I took another big sip of calcium - and I'm still feeling fine now as if nothing happened.

Ok, so calcium can cause muscle spasms. It's probably not related to a bronchospasm as my airways have always been open during such attack. Calcium is also necessary for a good pumping function of the heart. If panic is ruled out (I'm pretty certain of that) and hyperventilation (pretty certain as well) then this must be an issue of either gas exchange or blood, and related oxygen circulation.

I don't think just popping calcium can regulate blood pH levels well enough. Not sure if there are other possibilities for this. Thus a heart problem induced by low calcium? Calcium is apparently necessary for proper heart pumping. Why from cardio? Sweating seems to lower my magnesium levels, and I am dearly deficient at the moment. Maybe the same happens here too, even though it does not show up on serum calcium blood tests (I'm certain I'm Ca deficient as well though), if corrected for low albumin anyway (another unsolved issue). Is calcium stored in heart muscle fibres and used from there for proper heart functioning or is calcium from the blood used for it? And why do those problems usually pop up a few hours after the fact? Continuous sweating, or calcium is moved from bone and muscles stores to blood to replensih levels there (this does happen!) But fact is, looking back that calcium has temporarily cured my breathing issue before.

Any ideas or comments?

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I am sorry but I do not think anyone could safely advise you. You are talking about very complex regulatory systems within the cardiovascular system. Excess calcium can lead to cardiac arrest due to the role of calcium ions in the regulation of the heart. Without a full work up of bloods etc including kidney function which regulate many level of minerals within the body you would be guessing what the problem was.

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I know that. It's annoying. i suggested an intracellular calcium test before, which is apparently what I need. But I don't seem to be able to get it on the NHS. My gp thinks serum calcium is fine, thus I cannot have calcium problems. Yet taking calcium is what helps against my breathing issue somehow.

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If you have a calcium problem it will also affects levels of other substances which would show up in the bloods. What do you think you have that requires an intracellular test?

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Well, I'm consistently low in magnesium. that does show up on serum Mg tests, and I'm not able to raise levels regardless of how much Mg I'm taking. that's under investigation. Potassium has been somewhat low as well. I'm always low on iron if I don't take any. I'm also Vitamin B12 deficient if I don't inject every 3 weeks and Vitamin D deficient if I don't supplement that. Phosphorus used to be low as well. Every single vitamin or mineral that has ever been tested has been low. Who knows what others there are that I'm low in.

Calcium: well.. for over 30 years I've had a problem with my lower leg and feet muscles/tendons/not sure what. when walking faster, climbing stairs or running my lower leg muscles would cramp up and hurt a lot, and my feet would be pulled towards another by this. I always assumed it's just bad luck and something that just belongs to me - until a doctor mentioned my serum calcium looked low (wasn't corrected for albumin, which I know was low then) and I was prescribed calcium. Few weeks later I noticed this problem was completely gone! After more than 30 years just gone! Didn't attribute it to calcium. But when the pot was empty this problem came back, and vanished again once I thought about this and bought a new pot. Whenever i stop taking calcium this comes back within less than 2 weeks. Tried and tested several times.

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Excess calcium can affect serum potassium levels by making it intracellular not extracellular. The body as many checks and balances. I am sorry to say that nobody will be able to give you an answer on this site. What you are asking is a highly complex area of medicine. Which could over lap into other fields of medicine. The only safe answer is to ask for a second opinion from a GP that specialises in this area.

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I know *sigh* I've not found a single GP who knows anything about vitamins and minerals and their role and interactions, which is so frustrating.

I just know that taking calcium fixes this feeling of being out of breath. That's all.

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Good advice from Badbessie. Please do go back to your medics.

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