What To Do When Calcium Supplements Cause Constipation
In pharmacy school, I was taught to see if there was a cause when I learned of a patient?s adverse reaction, because if I?m treating the problem without removing the cause, the problem will still persist. In this situation, I couldn?t remove the cause. If I were to request that the doctor stop prescribing the calcium supplements, the elderly patient would be at higher risk for osteoporosis. If I can?t remove the cause, what can I do in this type of situation?
Individuals reach peak bone mass around their early 20s, after which bone mass is lost faster than it is created.1 Thus, as an individual ages, the risk for osteoporosis increases. If age is a nonmodifiable risk factor, what can an individual do to prevent osteoporosis?
In addition to doing weight-bearing exercises or muscle-strengthening exercises to build and maintain bone density, its important to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
Ive filled a lot of calcium with vitamin D supplements for elderly patients. A couple of weeks ago, I encountered a prescription for a calcium supplement and a prescription for a constipation medication. One of the adverse effects of calcium supplements is constipation, so I instantly knew that the calcium supplement was most likely causing the constipation.
How Do I Choose A Calcium Supplement
- Calcium supplements may contain diff erent calcium compounds such as calcium acetate, calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium citrate malate, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, calcium lactogluconate, tricalcium phosphate and others.
- Diff erent calcium compounds have similar bioavailability when supplements are taken with food. The presence of food in the stomach causes the release of acid that is necessary to break down most calcium supplements. When calcium is taken with food, it slows down the movement of calcium in the intestines allowing more time for calcium to be absorbed. Therefore, it is best to take calcium supplements with food.
- Calcium citrate is an exception to the rule: it can be taken with or without food. It is the one calcium compound that does not require acid to break it down. If you take acid-blocking medications and cannot get enough calcium in the foods you eat, calcium citrate is the calcium compound of choice.
- In selecting the right supplement for you, it is important to consider how you intend to take the supplement. Calcium supplements are available as liquid, powder, chewable or tablets.
- Taste may also be a consideration since it may determine if you will regularly take calcium.
Dont Take Calcium Supplements
This is the easiest solution. Use your diet to get calcium instead of supplementation. You should also reduce antacid intake. These pills offer short-term relief and long-term risk.
If youre experiencing digestive problems or poor calcium intake, start with a diet. You can get your daily needs without supplementation. Calcium-rich foods are nutrient-dense and should be prioritized anyway.
This avoids the risks of low-quality calcium supplements. It can also improve your overall health.
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Calcium Supplement Side Effects
Before taking calcium supplements, you need to be aware of the side effects of high calcium intake, which include:
- Gas or bloating
- Risk of kidney stones
Calcium can also decrease absorption of some medications, including osteoporosis medicines, thyroid medicines, and some antibiotics. Ask your doctor if your medicines may interact with calcium, or to be safe, just don’t take them at the same time. Taking calcium and vitamin Dsupplements with thiazide diuretics may increase the chance of kidney stones.
A June 2012 study in the journal Heartalso linked calcium supplements with a greater likelihood of heart attacks. This finding may be of special concern to anyone who is already at risk for heart disease.
Experts disagree regarding who should take calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force doesn’t recommend taking calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis-related fractures in postmenopausal women, because there isn’t enough evidence to support a benefit. Other organizations, including the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the Institute of Medicine, recommend supplements if you’re not meeting your daily calcium requirements with diet alone.
Although your bones need calcium, don’t take any supplements without first talking to your doctor. Find out which form of calcium is best for you to take, how much you need each day, and what to do if you experience any side effects.
Calcium Supplements: Should You Take Them
When you were a child, your mom may have encouraged you to drink milk tobuild strong bones. But as an adult, youre much more likely to take acalcium supplement than down four glasses of milk a day to protect yourbone health. However you do it, getting enough calcium is a good idea,since women are far more likely than men to developosteoporosis a condition of weak and fragile bones that makes you prone to fractures:Of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 80 percent are women.
But before you unwrap that chocolate-flavored calcium chew or swallow acalcium pill, you should know that taking calcium supplements may not behelping your bones at all. Even worse? The supplements may lead to majorhealth problems
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Do I Need Vitamin D In Combination With My Calcium Supplement
It is important to get the vitamin D that you need each day. Getting the recommended amount of vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and helps strengthen muscles, too! There are only a few good natural sources of vitamin D including fatty fish such as catfish eel, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna. Small amounts of vitamin D are added to all milk and to some types of nondairy beverages and other foods. Check the food labels of almond, coconut, rice, and soy beverages as well as juices, yogurt, cheese, and nutrition bars to find out if vitamin D is added. Most people need a vitamin D supplement to get enough vitamin D each day. Vitamin D is available in supplemental form in multivitamins, in combination with calcium in many calcium supplements, and alone in vitamin D supplements Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can be stored by the body. It does not need to be taken in combination with calcium as long as you get the recommended amount of vitamin D each day. It is important to speak to your health care provider about how you can get the vitamin D you need to promotes strong bones.
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Calcium Phosphate Will Also Constipate
This form of calcium is found in the product Posture and Tribasic. It is 39% calcium. For best absorption, it is best taken with meals.
Does this calcium cause constipation? Yes. Because it is poorly absorbed, it travels to the colon where a larger dose can cause constipation, if not balanced with magnesium.
Do not take more than is recommended by your doctor, since excess calcium can cause numerous health issues, including kidney stones. To avoid dehydration and the resulting constipation, drink with plenty of water.
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Preventing Osteoporosis Without Agonizing Constipation:
A. The idea that calcium supplements are effective for preventing osteoporosis and fractures is controversial.
One review of 33 controlled studies found that
the use of supplements that included calcium, vitamin D or both compared with placebo or no treatment was not associated with a lower risk of fractures .
Whats The Best Calcium Supplement For You
Calcium citrate, calcium with vitamin K or oyster shell? Drugstore shelves offer a variety of calcium supplements for strong bones, plus added nutrients like vitamins D, K and magnesium. What do you really need? Heres how to choose the best calcium supplement for you…In a perfect world, wed get all the nutrients to build strong bones from foods like dairy products, leafy greens and fatty fish. But most women get only 50% of the calcium and 40% or less of the bone-building vitamin D they need each day , according to the National Institutes of Health . Does that mean most of us should take supplements?For busy women, supplements offer an easy way to maintain bone health, says Pauline Camacho, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Loyola University Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center in Illinois. According to the Institute of Medicine, to build strong bones, women under age 51 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day and 600 IUs of vitamin D. If over 51, they need 1,200 mg of calcium. They also need 320 mg of magnesium and 90 micrograms of vitamin K . But not all supplements are created equal. Some arent absorbed by the body easily, cause stomach upset, can contain dangerous heavy metals or cant be taken with certain foods or medications.Always check with your doctor before starting a supplement regimen and to determine the right dosage for you. Also, ask for a blood test to determine how much vitamin D youll also need.
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Side Effects Of Calcium Supplements
Chronic, high-dose calcium has a range of side effects. These are the tell-tale signs of hypercalcemia:
· Excessive urination
· Major risk of regular or severe kidney and gallstones
· Cramping and abdominal pain
· Kidney dysfunction and persistent thirst
· Bone weakness, as in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
· Muscular weakness and fatigue
· Anxiety and mood disorders or instability
· Brain fog and other mental performance decline
The side effects of calcium supplementation depend on the type youre taking. The most common, cheapest, and most dangerous is calcium carbonate.
This is a normal salty, chalky powder or pill that is often taken by older people. Taking calcium can improve bone health. Crucially, calcium carbonate has limited benefits to bone density.
Calcium carbonate is both supplemented directly and is an ingredient in antacids. These are popular for relieving heartburn and indigestion, and improving stomach valve functions. The irony is that they may cause long-term indigestion and acid reflux.
Regular use is where problems occur in either supplement or antacid form. These are both fine with short-term or irregular use. Focus on healthy doses roughly 800mg calcium per day.
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Types Of Calcium Supplements
Calcium supplements come in two main types: calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate tends to be more affordable and more commonly produced, but has to be taken with food for the body to absorb it. Calcium citrate can be taken with or without food, but is more frequently given to people with gastrointestinal issues or absorption disorders.
There are also other, less common forms of calcium that you might find in supplements and fortified food products. These include:
- Calcium gluconate
- Calcium phosphate
- Calcium citrate malate
Certain types of calcium may even be present in weight loss supplements, because calcium is thought to help prevent the body from absorbing fat.
Supplements That May Cause Or Worsen Constipation
There are a number of supplements that can cause constipation. Iron supplements, for example are a common culprit. The good news, however, is that certain forms of iron may be less likely to cause constipation than others.
If you take one of the supplements above and experience constipation, you may want to consider trying a different form, when possible , or stopping the supplement to see if that helps.
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If I Am Not Getting Enough Calcium What Should I Do
- Most people can easily get at least half of the calcium they need from food.
- If your usual calcium intake is too low, first try to eat more calcium-rich foods each day. There are many calcium-rich foods to help you get the recommended calcium from diet alone.
- If you are unable to change your diet to get the recommended amount of calcium each day, speak to your health care provider about taking a calcium supplement.
- If you need a supplement, it is important to select one that contains the proper amount of calcium. Your recommended daily calcium intake minus the estimated daily calcium in your diet will determine how much calcium you need to take from a supplement.
|Recommended Daily Calcium Intake|
|Calcium Needed from Supplement|
Getting Rid Of Constipation Caused By Vitamins Or Due To Other Factors
It has been seen that there are times when one needs to take in vitamins to meet the nutritional deficiencies in the body. And the problem of constipation also exists. In such cases, you have to learn the various ways in which the problem of constipation can be dealt with successfully. Mentioned below are some simple ways in which the problem can be solved to a great extent
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What Are Calcium Supplements
Calcium supplements are various forms of calcium used to treat or prevent low calcium blood levels in many species. Calcium with lactate, citrate, ascorbate, carbonate, gluconate, or phosphate may be available. Bone meal has also been used as a calcium source however, the effects are similar when compared to the manufactured supplements and bone meal may contain undesirable components. Calcium derived from coral is not recommended due to environmental concerns.
Commercially prepared diets for pets are complete and balanced, and do not need additional calcium supplementation under normal circumstances. Use of calcium supplements may be required when feeding a homemade diet, or in pregnant or nursing pets. Calcium supplementation should only be used under veterinary supervision, as too much calcium can cause other health problems.
How Does Constipation Happen
Constipation occurs when your colon collects too much wastewater , which dries the stubble away and makes it difficult to get it out of the body.
In order to provide some support, nutrients are absorbed while food typically passes through the digestive system. The remaining partly digested food travels from the gut into the big gut, commonly known as the colon.
This waste is absorbed by the colon, which forms a solid substance called stool. Food might travel too slowly through the digestive tract if you have constipation. This allows the colon to absorb water from the waste more time Ã¢ too much. The stool gets dry, tough, and hard to push.
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Is It A Problem To Take A Calcium Supplement With Antibiotics
Calcium interferes with the body’s ability to use certain antibiotics such as tetracycline or ciprofloxin. If your health care provider prescribes an antibiotic that interacts with calcium, it is important for you to take it properly. You should not take calcium supplements at the same time as taking certain antibiotics. Your antibiotic will work best if you take your calcium supplement at the right time. It is always important to talk to your pharmacist about the proper way to take your medication.
Does Calcium Citrate Cause Constipation
Thorne Research is a reputable supplement manufacturer and one of the few companies certified by the Therapeutic Goods Administration , an Australian government agency responsible for regulating supplements for safety and quality.
With calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K included, this product is a great option for those looking to support bone health.
For those who prefer calcium gummies over capsules and tablets, this product may be a good choice.
It contains 500 mg of calcium, along with vitamin D to help maximize absorption.
It has also undergone third-party testing to evaluate its purity and strength, and been verified by USP.
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Foods High In Calcium
The best way to get all of your vitamins and minerals is from regular food. Your body will absorb it better and nutrients tend to have a stronger effect when they work together.
For example, fruits and vegetables contain a multitude of different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and all kinds of other stuff that researchers havenât even discovered yet.
Here is a list of foods that are high in calciumâ¦
The recomended daily intake for calcium is around 1,000 mg and 1,200 mg for people 51 years and older.
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