Calcium is a mineral required for numerous functions in human body. It is constituent of bones and participates in many processes. It has to be taken on daily bases and prescribed doses vary according to gender, age and in case one is suffering from certain medical conditions or requires higher intake of this mineral.
This mineral normally does not accumulate in any of the organs so if this occurs it points to the presence of some underlying condition. Pathological accumulation of calcium may affect the lungs, heart joints, bones, and even skin.
Causes of Calcium Deposits in Lungs
Condition in which calcium accumulates in lung tissue is known as lung calcification. Lung calcification may occur in patients suffering from chronic lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Furthermore, exposure to asbestos increases the chance of lung calcification. Increased accumulation of calcium in the lungs may also happen due to increased levels of vitamin D which is in charge with absorption of calcium. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection of the lungs. It leads to scarring and scars are excellent place for calcium deposits. Lung calcification also occurs in patients suffering from tuberculosis. Even certain cancers may increase accumulation of calcium in the lungs.
Symptoms of Calcium Deposits in Lungs
Some patients may experience different symptoms which lead them to doctors who eventually discover the presence of calcium deposits in the lungs. The symptoms are basically related to the underlying condition and this is why they are not the same in all the patients suffering from lung calcification.
Some of these symptoms include difficulties with breathing and wheezing, dry cough, tightness of the throat, weight loss, cyanosis etc.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Calcium Deposits in Lungs
Calcium deposits in lungs are most commonly detected accidentally, during examinations that are performed in other purposes. Many people do not even know they have deposits of calcium in their lungs until symptoms become clear and troublesome. Lung calcification can be easily noticed on chest X-ray. Better insight of calcium deposits is achieved by CT scan of the lungs. Once the doctor has found calcium deposits in patient's lungs he/ she continues with examinations and tests to determine the underlying cause of the disease.
In majority of cases the goal of the treatment is to alleviate the symptoms of the underlying conditions and perhaps symptoms of the very calcium deposits. Once the calcium has accumulated it simply cannot be removed. But doctors will do their best to prevent further accumulation of calcium and possible complications.