Advice on Calcium Supplements Please - Bone Health

Bone Health

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Advice on Calcium Supplements Please


Two years ago I fell and fractured my wrist. A follow up dexa scan revealed osteoporosis. I was automatically prescribed Alendronic Acid which I fortunately refused as my astute GP noticed a high level of calcium on my bloods (it would have actually been damaging to my bones) and referred me to en endocrinologist. My parathyroid gland was eventually diagnosed as diseased and I subsequently had a successful parathyroidectomy. I was booked in to have a zolendronate infusion earlier this year but fortunately became aware of some possibly irreversible side effects (thanks to this excellent forum) and this is presently on hold. I try to keep up the level of calcium in my diet and take calcium citrate (500mg), vitamin D3, vitamin k2-7, zinc and magnesium and am researching strontium as well. My problem is that I have a kidney pain under my ribs and in my back which is related to the intake of calcium. If I stop it the pain eases. Is this an indication that I am getting sufficient? I also take 15mg of lansoprazole (PPI) and am only too aware of the damage that does to my bones.

Any advice would be most welcome. Thank you.

16 Replies

The official advice (from NICE) in the UK is to get calcium in your diet if at all possible and only supplement if other health conditions (not osteoporosis) or a dietary shortfall make it necessary. Any calcium surplus to needs will be excreted via the kidneys (and therefore can sometimes cause kidney stones) or may build up as deposits in the arteries. I would talk to your GP about the pain you're experiencing, to make sure it isn't anything else causing it. You can check your calcium intake through a calcium calculator; I find this one very useful:

t1gernidster in reply to Met00

Thank you Met00. The link is very useful.

Pinklady45 in reply to Met00

Thank you for that link,very useful.The more knowledge we have the better. Stay safe.

Pain is a warning sign, which you appear to have been ignoring. I urge you to reconsider.

A variety of studies show we take too much calcium or calcium as supplements (which can lead to heart problems and even osteoporosis).

With your kidney pain clearly associated with your taking or not taking calcium supplements, that's another perhaps far more immediate concern.

Really, I urge sticking with a TOTAL calcium intake of 600-900 mg/day (food plus any supplements).

~wbic, member bonehealth forum

t1gernidster in reply to wbiC

Thank you. I appreciate your reply. Are you suggesting that level of calcium intake even though I am taking a daily PPI with its known effect on bones?

wbiC in reply to t1gernidster

I'd see your blood calcium levels, as the deciding point (your doctor could help you decide if normal blood levels of calcium is where your focus should be, and do what's needed to settle into that level).

If at all manageable, any boosting of your calcium intake ought (imo) be via food (if not keen on dairy, using powdered skim milk is a minimalist approach) and not chemicals.

~wbic, member bonehealth forum

Met00 in reply to wbiC

Unfortunately blood calcium levels don't usually tell us how much calcium is going to our bones. When the parathyroid glands are working as they should, they maintain blood calcium within a very fine range, meaning that if you have too little calcium, your bones will lose out and if too much it's simply excreted or deposited in the arteries. There is a calcium urine test which can ascertain how much calcium is being excreted, but it seems many UK doctors are not familiar with this (as I discovered when I asked for it)!

t1gernidster in reply to wbiC

I will contact my surgery when they have stopped hiding behind Covid and avoiding seeing patients. In the meantime i have stopped calcium supplements (whilst continuing with the others) and increasing the intake in my diet. Thanks you for your advice.

Hi, I would agree with the others that it is definitely worth another visit to the doctor to check this out. Would it be possible to have another blood test to check the calcium levels again? I have been told to have between 1000 and 1200mg a day and am getting that through my diet. I found some days a struggle - there is a limit to the amount of kale and diary you can eat sometimes! My top tip is to buy soya milk. I particularly recommend Alpro Chocolate soya milk myself. Very delicious and you get 250mg in just one glass so that now easily brings me up to the required intake and is a treat! I have no idea how much calcium would be recommended in your circumstances but this could help get your quota through diet if that is appropriate. Take care and good luck!

t1gernidster in reply to Amber53

Thank you for recommending the soya milk, I will certainly try that. I appreciate your help.

Hi t1gernidster, IMO I would not take extra calcium unless you are deficient in it as shown by a blood test. High calcium levels are buffered by your body by taking magnesium from where it is stored in your body which is the bones. You may have kidney stones (I don’t know) that could be causing your pain. Kidney stones are you body’s many attempts/can be as a result of too much calcium. I would get more tests done and also look at the Facebook group vitamin d and it co-factors. Best of luck.

Thank you Collywobbles64, that’s sound advice. I appreciate your help.

If your bones crave calcium you would have tingling post parathyroidectomy. Once the tingling stops then u shouldnt need to take supplemental calcium anymore. You should be able ti get enough from your diet. The kidney may have developed stones due to excess calcium. Id ask for a urine test to check cakcium output and possibly an ultra sound scan to rule out stones. My surgeon has said that i will need a dexa scan 12 months after my op done on the same machine as the original. She said not to take any bisphosphanates until the results of the dexa are known. Have a lool at

Have a look at

According to the Save Our Bones website and all its amazing info citrate and carbonate are poorly absorbed. I take marine calcium

But only 500mg at a time as the body cannot absorb any more at one sitting.

Thank you for the info and the links. 👍

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