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

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  • Topic: Vitamin D, Parathyroid hormone, Calcitonin
  • Pages : 6 (1471 words )
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  • Published : December 3, 2010
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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
As found from 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.
* 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.
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...
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