Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

Calcium Supplements - Or Not?

I had a bone scan in nov last year which showed I had osteoporosis, shortly followed by a diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism. A parathyroidectomy was done in march and one gland was removed. During my original bone scan I was told I should take 1500 mg calcium daily and I have been trying to take half this in my diet and half as supplements. The blood tests taken subsequent to the operation still show an excess of calcium when I take supplements and I have been advised not to take them anymore. If I include 1500 mg calcium daily in my diet this could cause a weight problem. I've been getting a vague back ache for some months now and am extremely concerned that my bone condition isn't improving. My next bone scan will not take place till next year. Could you tell me about calcium absorption and why supplements may not be absorbed but lead to high blood calcium?
Any other advice you may be able to give would also be welcome.
Due to extreme adverse reactions, I was unable to take fossamax.
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replied September 7th, 2004
I was diagnosed last week with osteopenia, the precursor to osteoperosis. I'm still awaiting the results of the bloodwork on parathyroid and vitamin d, but suspect they're ok. I am not a big consumer of dairy products so I am taking calcium supplements. I do know that the body will not absorb more than about 500 mg of calcium at a time. Are you taking the supplements all at once? If you are, that might be part of the problem.

I've started fosamax and can tell that may be a big rough, but i'll stick with it for now. There is also actinel which is supposed to be easier on the stomach. There is also a nasal spray that is used once a day, every other nostril. You should probably talk to your doctor about trying something else. I don't know about you, but it worries me so much when I think about not being able to do the things I enjoy doing because of this "thing".

I can relate to the low back pain. Try lumbar cushions and other supports for that.

Good luck.
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