Some people get minor side effects of calcium citrate which can be ignored while others may develop more serious problems after taking it. Read on…
Basically, calcium citrate is a salt of citric acid. It is popularly used as a dietary supplement to improve the strength of the bones and teeth. The form of calcium which is supplied by calcium citrate is rarely found from the foods that we eat. An acidic environment is required for proper absorption of calcium into the bones. It is capable of creating that kind of acidic environment inside the stomach and thus facilitates absorption of maximum amount of calcium into the body. Ideally, the dosage for small children should not be more than 800 mg per day and in adults, it should not exceed 1200 mg per day.
Dairy products like yogurt, milk, cheese are rich sources of calcium. However, today, many people are avoiding all these food substance which results in calcium deficiency. These people need calcium citrate to meet their daily requirements of calcium. Sports persons take this calcium supplement to make their muscles and bones stronger.
Those who are suffering from kidney failure tend to get higher phosphate levels in their body. This condition is controlled with the help of calcium citrate. It is also used for the treatment of hyperactive thyroid gland.
Pregnant women require this dietary supplement for various reasons. It is essential for both the mother and the unborn baby. It improves fetal bone density and it also contributes towards development of the baby’s heart, muscles and nerves. It is good for the mother to be as it eases off leg cramps and also reduce the risk of hypertension. It is beneficial for women in post menopause phase as it prevents osteoporosis and menopause symptoms.
The most common side effects are gastrointestinal problems like constipation, stomach gas, abdominal bloating, etc. Some people also complain about nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen and loss of appetite. These problems are nothing very serious and there is no need to worry about them. You can manage them by taking the calcium supplement along with food and not on an empty stomach, However, if constipation becomes severe or continues for a long time, your doctor would advise you to stop it. Headache is another minor side effect and it can be relieved by resting for a while.
The more serious side effect is irregular heartbeat. This condition is often accompanied by other symptoms like flushing and excessive sweating. These symptoms are not normal and doctor should be consulted. Another side effect is increase in the frequency of urination. If you observe that the urine output has increased or you are experiencing any pain while urinating after you have started using calcium citrate, then you should report the matter to the doctor.
Though allergic reaction to this calcium supplement is rare but it may happen. The identifiable allergy symptoms are eruption of skin rashes, swelling inside the mouth or face, tight feelings in the chest, difficulty in breathing, etc. Other rarely observed side effects are pain in muscles and bones, abnormal loss of body weight and swallowing difficulty may be observed in some people. Calcium citrate is not suitable for those who have heart rhythm problem, kidney problem, frequent tendency of getting dehydration or constipation. Hence, patient with these health problems should not take it to avoid any health complications.
The side effects can be controlled to a great extent if you have a detailed discussion with your doctors before starting the supplement. You have to furnish the details of your medical history to them. Interaction of calcium citrate with other medicines can trigger a few side effects. So, you must inform them if you are taking antibiotics or any other prescription drugs, herbs or dietary supplements. If you have the habit of smoking or drinking alcohol, your doctor should know it.