Calcium supplements side effects?: I am... - Bone Health

Bone Health

3,759 members1,587 posts

Calcium supplements side effects?

elery profile image

I am experiencing some joint pain (knees) since being on calcium supplements. I have never had joint pain before, and don't know if it is just coincidence that it is happening since I started taking calcium. I am also experiencing some mild indigestion (which I have never had before). Is this normal? The supplement I am taking is: Garden of Life, Vitamin Code Raw Calcium. It has in the daily dosage: Vite C (50mg), D3 (1600IU), Vite K as K2 MK-7 (100mcg), Calcium, naturally occurring from Algae (756mg), Magnesium (386mg), Strontium, naturally occurring from algae (3.8mg), Boron (3mg), Silica, naturally occurring from algae (2.2mg), Vanadium, naturally occurring from algae (68mcg), Raw Probiotic & Enzyme Blend (64mg), and Raw organic Fruit & Vegetable Blend (360mg).

I divide the daily dosage into 2 servings, and take half with breakfast and half with lunch. I always take it with food. Has anyone had this experience?

21 Replies

Hi elery,

I have not had joint pain. I do have one calcium supplement that can cause a stomach ache. I have another one that is quite similar to the one you take and I’m fine with it. The one that doesn’t cause problems is by New Chapter, Bone Strength slim tabs.

Maybe switch to a different one for a week and see if it is better for you.

elery profile image
elery in reply to forwardmotion

Thank you very much for your reply. And thank you for the suggestion to change to a different supplement for a while.

Hi. My research revealed that there has never been a double blind study done to show that calcium supplements help with osteoporosis.

My rheumatologist confirmed that the best calcium comes from food. My nutrition studies always stressed that minerals need to be balanced as they work with each other. We were taught to be careful with calcium as it can build up in the body as deposits and cause problems. I've stopped taking it as a supplement as a result of this.

It isn't difficult to Google which foods are high in calcium, choose the ones you like or find ways to ensure you are getting enough. I have made lists of important nutrients and refer to them now and then to ensure I'm on track. I'm not rigid with it. I just try to take an intelligent approach.

I hate greens of any kind but Google and YouTube has helped me find ways of consuming them which does not offend my sense of smell or taste.

Sometimes I wonder if other medications take the blame for side effects which could be caused by calcium supplements.

Just a little "food for thought" which I hope may be helpful.

Dido.xx

elery profile image
elery in reply to DeannaAlphi

Thank you very much for your very helpful reply. I appreciate what you said about food and believe it wholeheartedly. Was it Hippocrates who said, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food"? I have been thinking along similar lines and doing more research into which foods are highest in calcium, how much they have, etc. to make sure of what I am getting in my diet. Thankfully, I do like greens, cooked or raw. The goal is to intentionally include more of these and other calcium-rich foods into my diet, and perhaps decrease the supplementation, although the osteoporosis is frightening and I'm not ready to give up calcium supplements entirely. My DXA scores are low (-2.5 in hip and -4.3 in spine), but I'm hoping that with a SANE approach (Supplementation, Attitude, Nutrition, Exercise) I can at least maintain where I am and hopefully improve my scores. At this point, I have not sustained any fractures and have no pain.

DeannaAlphi profile image
DeannaAlphi in reply to elery

Hi again. Although not often prescribed, magnesium and other minerals are just as important. Worth keeping an eye on. Xx

elery profile image
elery in reply to DeannaAlphi

Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, it is a balance of things.

I’ve had trouble finding a calcium supplement the body likes. Now hope it’s doing the right job! Calcium left me constipated mainly but the algaical is ok!!

elery profile image
elery in reply to Siamang

Thank you Siamang. I'm glad you found one that works well for you. Yes, we both hope it's doing the job!!

I am also taking Raw Ca from Garden of Life, Vitamin Code Raw Calcium. I used to take 4 tablets/day split into 2 dosages. Also a strontium supplement which was touted to go with the raw calcium. Now I only take 2 CA/day plus magnesium (for my severe leg cramps every night). However, I think I actually get sufficient CA in my diet from 4 cups of fat free milk/day plus lots of spinach and broccoli. My T-score is -2.5. I am torn between doing the supplements or dropping them due to adverse effects from too much CA supplements. I also have "severe, erosive osteo-arthritis" in my hands such that I can no longer lift weights for bone strengthening in the upper body. I try to walk 4 miles a days up and down hills but it is not always possible. I have not taken any medication for my osteoporosis but my doctor has been urging me to do so for the last 13 years. I would love some advice and suggestions from those of you who share some of these issues. Many thanks in advance for any helpful inputs you can give me! I must say I am horrified from some of the stories I have read about in terms of side effects and that has kept me from starting down that road. But lately I am wondering if I am really doing the right thing. I feel as if I am at a cross roads on this.

Siamang profile image
Siamang in reply to BirdBones

It would seem your arthritis is more of a problem. Hope you can get some relief. I love water aerobics for my joints!

My GP gave me a chart to record my calcium consumption and said if ok don’t worry about supplements. However, I am taking supplements! It truly is a balancing act. Lots of info on this site!

BirdBones profile image
BirdBones in reply to Siamang

Thanks so much! Every bit of information is very valuable to me at this point.

elery profile image
elery in reply to BirdBones

I would wonder, if your doctor has been urging you to take medication for osteoporosis for 13 years, how your t-scores have changed over that time. Are they holding their own, are they quickly falling, or getting better? -2.5 is just over the line for what is considered osteoporosis. I agree with Siamang, arthritis may be causing you the greater problem and have you at this cross roads of decision. Osteoporosis is frightening to me (my mother and grandmother both had it severely), but the medications are even more frightening, so I have decided to try the natural route. I just learned about my condition in April, so I am just beginning this journey. I wish you well.

BirdBones profile image
BirdBones in reply to elery

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I made a mistake re my T-scores as they are actually -2.8 and have been slowly getting worse over the last 13 years since I discovered I had osteoporosis. I am like you in that while I am frightened of osteoporosis, I am more frighten of the side effects of the medications they are literally pushing on me. After all, THEY are not taking the medication they are pushing . . . maybe the pharmaceutical companies are increasing their profits . . . and maybe the doctors want more people on it so that they can gather more data to determine just how good or bad the available medications are? I do not know. But I do know that I am frighted a lot by the side effects. Life is hard enough without having that happen to me as well.

elery profile image
elery in reply to BirdBones

It is hard to know what to do. The medications do indeed have serious side effects. I will avoid them as long as possible.

BirdBones profile image
BirdBones in reply to Siamang

Thanks for getting back to me. I will look into water aerobics. It is all a trade off as the water aerobics is when the sun is out (my gym's pool is an outdoor one) and I have had 3 MOHS surgery for skin cancer (my aunt died of it at 33 years old). Of course I wear a sun-proof swim suit and latter on the sun protection lotions but still the UV gets through to me :( But I will not give up. I am always exploring ways to build strong bones and to modify how I do things with my hands to reduce the arthritis pain. Thanks again for getting back to me. I really appreciate it!

Siamang profile image
Siamang in reply to BirdBones

A lot of the ladies where swim rash t shirts and we all wear hats for water aerobics classes! I also find Pilates and stretch classes help the joints.

BirdBones profile image
BirdBones in reply to Siamang

Thanks!!! I have just started Thera-Pilates classes --- pilates for those with osteoporosis. Luckily the city sponsors the classes so that they are more affordable than otherwise.

I wish you best with your joints!

Siamang profile image
Siamang in reply to BirdBones

I’ve had to google Thera Pilates as different terminology to Aust! Sounds like what my physio does! I also have a regular massage to encourage blood flow and loosen up any tight muscles!

I've been reading this thread with interest, a few weeks ago I booked myself in for a repeat vitamin D blood test after taking the high dose for 7 weeks, after the test I noticed they'd taken 2 samples and when I asked why I was told they were doing a full blood count, GP rang a couple of days later to say everything was well except for low protein levels in my kidneys and to book another blood test in about a month's time, I'm going for this on Monday but after the phone call I wondered what may have caused this, the only difference is I now take calcium and vitamin D supplements so I'm wondering if this has caused the problem so this week I haven't taken them, if next week's test is ok I'll know what's caused the problem, I'll keep you posted, enjoy the weekend

Siamang profile image
Siamang in reply to Jennymary

Interesting! Keep us posted how next blood test goes.

elery profile image
elery in reply to Siamang

Yes, please keep us posted!

You may also like...