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Reged: 09/09/06
Posts: 976
Loc: New Jersey
Which calcium supplement do you suggest of IBS-D?
      #290321 - 11/16/06 08:30 PM

I'd like to try to take a calcium supplement, but I'm not sure which one or how much. I did a search but I'm not sure about the whole calcium-magnesium ratio (I understand that magnesium helps to absorb the calcium, but can you just take calcium by itself?) I thought the calcium might also help with D. Is it calcium citrate that I should be looking for in the store? How many milligrams/day and does it matter if you take it before/after food, morning or night? Thanks.

Originally IBS-D for a million years!
Then IBS-A, Now a transformed slightly C

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Reged: 01/29/06
Posts: 1191
Loc: Canada
Re: Which calcium supplement do you suggest of IBS-D? new
      #290322 - 11/16/06 08:35 PM

I take a tablet which has 333mg calcium, 150mg magnesium. Any calcium/magnesium supplement will have the correct ratio. I can't remember what type of calcium it is though, and I don't have the original bottle.

When I was less stable (had more D) I took Calcium only. I switched to the magnesium ones cuz they were cheaper, and I have no problems with them either.

I used to take 3 per day but now only 1, since I am also getting calcium from soy milk, and enriched cereals (my oatmeal has calcium). I usually take it with a meal, lunch or dinner usually.


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Reged: 12/13/04
Posts: 4488
Loc: West Orange, NJ (IBS-D)
Re: Which calcium supplement do you suggest of IBS-D? new
      #290323 - 11/16/06 08:44 PM

I did some research on this a while back and this is what I came up with:

calcium citrate is good if you’re constipated (Citracal)

calcium carbonate is good if you have diarrhea:
Tums (but they have mineral oil)
Viactiv (but most - perhaps all - flavors have dairy)

My understanding is that magnesium is bad for diarrhea so I don't take it and no one - not my Family Practice doctor or my orthopedist or my endocrinologist - has suggested I do so.

I take my calcium in the form of Tums. At some point I read that your body can't handle more than 500mg of calcium at a time, so that's how much I take at once. I take mine with lunch, with dinner, and right before bed for a total of 1500mg a day. I like Tums because I have mild reflux so I'm getting 2 for the price of 1, but I think *any* calcium carbonate will have an antacid effect because - as far as I can tell - it's the calcium carbonate itself that acts as the antacid in Tums. There's nothing else in there except color and flavor.

I started very slowly with 200mg of calcium per day and went up very slowly, adding no more than 200mg per day at a time.

I have a vague sense that calcium is more "bioavailable" if you take it with food - I guess you're fooling your body into thinking you're eating something that has calcium - but I don't know that for sure.

One thing I did find out was that I'm not getting enough Vitamin D. My endocrinologist checked for that the last time I saw her. Apparently you need Vitamin D to process calcium. She wants me to get 1200 IU of Vitamin D per day which is 3 times the Recommended Daily Allowance - you should check with your doctor before getting that much. I've been getting 400 from my multi-vitamin (One A Day Essential) and I'm adding the rest gradually - 200 IU at a time. If you're out and about outside your body is probably making enough Vitamin D from the exposure to sunlight. Some calcium supplements have Vitamin D built right in.

calcium carbonate if you're IBS-D
1500mg per day
500mg at a time
make sure you're getting or your body is making enough Vitamin D


[Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate. - Sandra Boynton]

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Reged: 09/09/06
Posts: 976
Loc: New Jersey
Re: Which calcium supplement do you suggest of IBS-D? new
      #290326 - 11/16/06 09:01 PM