There have been plenty of patients so far this summer who have come in seeking help for sudden onset skin rashes and eczema. While skin issues can occur for a host of internal and external reasons, when they pop up suddenly during the late spring and summer months, there is often a need for more calcium. As I have discussed in recent articles, every nutrient is balanced with at least one other nutrient on a physiological teeter-totter. In the case of calcium, it has strong relationships with both magnesium and vitamin D and vice versa. If calcium levels in the muscles and skin (not blood levels) are insufficient, then an immune response, such as a skin irritation, is likely if vitamin D or magnesium are rapidly increased. This happens either via ingestion of a supplement, or, as is the case with vitamin D, it is made by the body when exposed to the sun. As the vitamin D is created, it must have ready access to useable calcium so that it can perform some of its many functions. Vitamin D is so powerful that if there is not enough useable calcium, a hormone called, parathyroid hormone, will be secreted and pull calcium out of the bones and/or teeth. In the office, I do simple bone and teeth tests to see if this is the case. Very often it is. To prevent unwanted and sometimes painful skin issues from sun exposure, make sure you have plenty of useable calcium from green vegetables (dairy calcium is much harder to absorb and creates its own health issues). If you are under a good deal of stress and/or are having regular digestive issues, it is likely that your calcium absorption is poor. You will probably need an acid supplement to aid in mineral absorption and protein digestion. To greatly reduce your chances of a sunburn, take a calcium supplement along with a fish oil before going into the sun. The fish oil will aid in calcium absorption. What about magnesium? Magnesium may be necessary in a 1:1 ratio with calcium for some. Those who have experienced these skin issues however, need more calcium than magnesium by a ratio of 2:1. Bowel function can often indicate whether more magnesium may be required. However, start with calcium (usually the citrate form is best). Note: If skin issues have already started you will need to come in the office for a more comprehensive look at your mineral levels since potassium, iron, zinc and sodium are also associated with a calcium imbalance.
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