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Calcium Supplements Constipation

Calcium supplements constipation concerns are directly related to absorption rates. Whatever calcium-supplements-and-constipation | Review Articlecalcium is not absorbed is excreted in bowel movements, Absorption can be affected by several factors. These include the amount of calcium consumed, whether the calcium is taken with  food, co-ingestion of  certain nutrients (such as vitamin D or iron) or drugs that may either enhance or reduce calcium absorption. Most experts do not consider the calcium supplements constipation link to be severe, even when poorly absorbed forms of calcium are involved. Small changes can help.

Minimizing Constipation Risk
According to the National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse, in concert with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), small adjustments can help prevent constipation, including:

  • Diet
    A diet with enough fiber (20 to 35 grams each day) helps the body form soft, bulky stool. High-fiber foods include beans, whole grains and bran cereals, fresh fruits, and vegetables such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots. For people prone to constipation, limiting foods that have little or no fiber, such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods, is also important.
  • Lifestyle Changes
    Engag[e] in daily exercise, and reserv[e] enough time to have a bowel movement. In addition, the urge to have a bowel movement should not be ignored.
  • Laxatives
    Most people who are mildly constipated do not need laxatives. However, for those who have made diet and lifestyle changes and are still constipated, a doctor may recommend laxatives or enemas for a limited time. These treatments can help retrain a chronically sluggish bowel. For children, short-term treatment with laxatives, along with retraining to establish regular bowel habits, helps prevent constipation.

Reducing Calcium Supplements Constipation Risk
Health experts generally recommend:

  • Smaller Calcium Doses
    Your body calcium absorbs only small amounts of calcium at a time. Smaller, more frequent calcium dosing throughout the day should improve absorption.
  • Vitamin D
    Make sure you are getting sufficient vitamin D, either from sunlight or supplements. Foods are not typically rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D increases calcium absorption. Also avoid taking calcium, iron, strontium or mineral oil together.
  • Hydrating Liquids
    The National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse reports that “liquids add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. People who have problems with constipation should try to drink liquids every day. However, liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and cola drinks will worsen one’s symptoms by causing dehydration. Alcohol is another beverage that causes dehydration. It is important to drink fluids that hydrate the body, especially when consuming caffeine containing drinks or alcoholic beverages”
  •  More Bioavailable Calcium Forms
    Certain insoluble calcium forms have been clinically shown to be malabsorbed by people who produce insufficient stomach acid or who take acid blocking drugs or supplements. Calcium supplements constipation risk is elevated when as little Calcium-Supplements-and-Constipation | Review Articleas 4% of calcium is being absorbed.  Taking these insoluble calcium forms with food dramatically improves bioavailability. Calcium carbonate and calcium hydroxyapatite are examples of less soluble calciums.  More soluble calcium forms include calcium citrate, calcium citrate malate and AAACa, the calcium in AdvaCAL.  AdvaCAL also has an impressive clinical record in increasing bone density among postmenopausal women and men as well as elderly women.

This list, while not exhaustive, should be sufficient for many people to overcome any calcium supplements constipation problems.