Side Effects of Calcium Supplements

Karen Frazier

Calcium Side Effects

Are there side effects of calcium supplements? While reasonable amounts of calcium are unlikely to cause problems, long-term supplementation of excessive amounts of calcium may lead to side effects and health problems.

Electrolyte Imbalances

Calcium is one of many electrolytes, which control electric activity to your cells. When you do not balance your intake of electrolytes and take too much of one and not enough of others, you may experience imbalances of electrolytes, which can lead to serious complications including cramping, dizziness, and palpitations.

Constipation

Excessive calcium may lead to constipation, because it constricts muscles including those along intestinal walls. Balancing calcium intake with vitamin D and magnesium may help avoid calcium-induced constipation.

Kidney Stones

Unabsorbed calcium may settle into salts in the bloodstream that bind together to create extremely painful kidney stones. The stones result in often excruciating colicky pain as they travel through the very small structures of your urinary tract. Staying hydrated and avoiding taking too much calcium may help reduce the incidence of kidney stones

Gas

Too much calcium may cause gastrointestinal upset, leading to flatulence and belching, a gurgling stomach, and possibly nausea or vomiting.

Low Blood Pressure

Taking too much calcium may actually block calcium absorption, leading to lowered blood pressure. Vitamin D can help enhance absorption of calcium.

Palpitations or Changes in Heart Rate

The heart is made up of muscle tissue. Just as it causes constriction of other muscles, calcium can lead to constriction of the heart muscle as well, leading to heart rate changes and irregularities.

Mental Changes

Too much calcium may result in mental changes, such as confusion or brain fog.

Muscle Weakness

Too much calcium supplementation can lead to weakened muscles.

Avoiding too Much Calcium

The best way to assure you don't overdose on calcium is to eat plenty of calcium rich foods. If you eat a variety of foods high in calcium, there is no need to supplement!

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Side Effects of Calcium Supplements