Nearly all calcium in the body is used to build strong bones and strong teeth. Only about 1% of calcium circulates in the organs, tissues and bloodstream. Calcium can form deposits in various tissues of the body, in both specific locations or in multiple areas. Sometimes calcium deposits are harmless but calcium deposits can also be harmful. The two primary causes of calcium deposits outside the bones; one is damaged tissue and the other is an excess calcium level in the body.
When calcium blood levels are normal, calcification can take place from local tissue damage. Tissue damage can be a magnet for calcium into the damaged tissue. Blood vessel calcification is very common and occurs in damaged tissues in the arteries and is known as atherosclerosis. These damaged areas in the arteries build up fat etcetera, forming plaque which calcifies over time. Plaques narrow the arteries which can provoke a clot formation often leading to a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.
Calcium deposits in the breast is another common type of small-scale tissue damage which leads to calcification. Sometimes calcium deposits in the breast are cancerous while at other times it is benign.
Large-scale tissue damage is connected to the extensive loss of cells, which is referred to as tissue necrosis. Necrosis is caused by the death of tissue in a precise area of the body. This dead tissue attracts cells that both clean up the dead tissue. This healing process draws calcium to the bad tissue area as part of the healing process.
Infections are associated to this type of calcification which are found in the lungs and the heart area and referred to as pericarditis which is an inflammation of the pericardium. Tissue damage along with inflammation can cause tissue calcification. This type of Calcium deposits are often found in shoulder tendons, ankles or knees.
Calcification can also occur from a high blood calcium level. If there is an excess of calcium in the bloodstream it begins to deposit in the tissues of the body.
There are usually no symptoms when calcification of tissues occurs in the body. There are symptoms to watch for which indicate excessive calcium in the body. Weakness, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, confusion or drowsiness are some of the symptoms that indicate excessive calcium in the body. Also be aware of chest pain, joint aches and muscle aches. Often tissue calcification is harmless but if your experience any of these symptoms see your doctor as quickly as possible.