I HAVE to take Calcium


Active Member
I'm sorta sad. :sad: I had my follow up with my PCP today and we reviewed all my labs and my dexa scan. My mother who is 81 has severe osteoporosis. I'm 49 and my spinal portion is showing beginning osteopenia. My hip is ok but she doesn't want it to get any lower. My lab showed a low vitamin D level. (And I'm from FL :smile: )

So....I have to take 1500mg of calcium. She recommended Citrical or Caltrate in divided doses. 1800mg of vitamin D as well. Weight bearing exercises.

Age just sort of comes up and smacks you in the face, doesn't it :thumbsdown:


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sunny ~

Did you see my thread on Fosamax? I was recently diagnosed with osteopenia in my hip. My t score was -1.5.

I was told to take Calcium also. The doctor also suggested that I start on Fosamax. I started a thread to ask about possible side effects of Fosamax.

I'm really nervous about starting Fosamax due to a lot of problems that I have read about on the web. I was wondering if I could just do the Calcium and exercise instead.

Did you doctor even suggest medications? What was your t score?

Looks like we have more than difficult children in common!



Roll With It
Geez, I'm not the only one with low Vit D.

My Vit D levels are literally almost nonexistent. I have tried prescription Vit D, OTC Vit D, calcium with Vit D in it, and injection Vit D.

They all leave me with 1-2 days of severe barfing, and a strange rash. Right now the doctor is going to work on other things, hoping that if we get the arthritis and other crud in better shape then I will tolerate the Vit D.

And sunlight is out - I get sick from much of that too.

Well, looks like we will have our own little osteo group!



Well-Known Member
Count me in too. I am in osteoporosis and have been on actonel for several years. I just decided to start trying to take calcium again along with magnesium. I understand the magnesium helps prevent the constipation so I'll give it a try again.

I was also low in vitamin D when they did my blood test a couple years ago and he put me on a prescription vit D for a week.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I'm on high doses of calcium & vitamin b12, along with the D. I no longer remember nor care to remember the levels, just doing what needs to be done.

Supplementing everything with lots of yogurt, cottage cheese & skim milk intake.

Good luck on raising those levels. Keep those young bones strong Sunny!


Active Member
Thanks guys.
PCP said I didn't need a Rx for calcium yet. I've not finished processing this information in my brain. I guess I'm angry at myself and I'm angry at the health profession for not reviewing calcium intake with every 30-50 year old. I guess I'm mad that everytime we women go for our annual or even for any type of appointment with our PCP - I feel they should always be reviewing that.

I guess I'm shocked and I shouldn't be....but I am.


Well-Known Member
My docs (pcp and gyno) have been preaching the calcium supplement for years. This year, in my health kick, I have started taking calcium pills and also a multi-vitamin. I figured if I can prevent problems later.....

This health kick thing is quite interesting. Sometimes I feel like I am not myself! LOL! It is so different from how I have lived for all of my life.

No more smoking, started exercising, trying to eat better (more successful some days than others) and trying to keep a positive attitude (which was me for most of my life, but changed for some reason). I also started to care for my skin better. I am seeing the aging quickly these days. Probably due to that attitude change I experienced for a bit.

It is hard work! Staying healthy is hard work!

I am sorry your pcp did not review this with you each year. But, I am the example of the patient that had a doctor preach it and still did nothing with that info for years.

Pam R

New Member
Osteoporosis runs in my family. Over 13 yrs. ago I became 100% lactose intolerant. I started taking calcium at that time, because I did not want to run the risk of osteoporosis. I am outside a lot, so Vitamin D is not an issue.

Because of nutrient uptake issues, I've done a bit of research on calcium. It seems all calcium is not created equal. Calcium carbonate, the most common form available, is also the one least easily assimilated. Calcium lactate is the one most easily utilized, but because of the lactose problem, I can't take it. So I take calcium citrate, which is more easily utilized by the body than carbonate.

But I take a lot of it, about 3000 mg. day, due to the uptake issues. The amount one needs to take depends on the needs of the body. If one is nursing, taking up to 2000 mg/day would not be too much. If one is past menopause taking over 1800 mg./day would be right.

So all these things must be taken into consideration, in determining the dosage of calcium. And weight bearing exercises insure that the calcium goes to the bones. :dance:

Pam R.


Well-Known Member
Pam thank you for the information on the different types of calcium. I am also lactose intollerant and had no idea that there were even different types of calcium to worry about. Perhaps that's why every time I tried takign calcium I couldn't tolerate it. I will try the calcium citrate now.

I even go to a bone specialist from the Cleveland Clinic who knows my lactose intollerance history and he never suggested the citrate.

Thanks again.



Former desparate mom
Sunny, I have been taking Citracal for years as a preventative. At present my bone density is good with no recommendations. In between I was doing weight training(before the move to NC)exercises to keep the bones strong. I haven't had any G.I. problems. I have always been lactose intolerant but haven't had any issues with Citrocal.

My mom has a lot of osteoporosis but she hasn't taken much Calcium until the damage was done.

Hopefully, you can prevent further calcium depletion with the supplement and some good weight bearing exercise.


Well-Known Member
My mother will be 93 in less than a week and has been on Fosamax for several years. She's been taking calcium for a long time. She's spry and in good shape and until about a year ago she walked about a mile and a half a day. :dance: She is still able to walk that far but she's had some inner ear problems so her balance is a little off so she's not been walking as much but at least she doesn't have osteoporosis.
I've been taking calcium for about 10 years. I also exercise (run a half mile with my dog, walk back home the other half mile, bike, swim, and do yoga; also a little weight work for my arms) and when I had a check up a couple of years ago they did a bone scan and said I was OK but to keep up the calcium and vitamins and the exercise.
That seems like a very simple thing to do to try to give myself some more good years. I think I have good genes because besides my mother I have an aunt on my dad's side who will be 102 in December and she still lives alone and walks for exercise every day. They'll probably both outdo me at this rate. :smile:


Well-Known Member
I just went to the grocery store and bought calcium with vitamin D, magnesium, and flax seed oil capsules. I'm hoping I can get them all down everyday since they are all large pills and also hoping I don't have stomach problems with them, but I'm excited to try.


Pam R

New Member
I also take magnesium and several other supplements. I found dividing the dose between breakfast and supper helped. I know that some have trouble taking calcium. (tummy problems)

Taking them with plenty of food can help. Taking the magnesium at night can help with sleep.

I also found out that taking B vitamins at night can trash your sleep. Those I take in the morning now.

I had never found info about taking more than 500 mg. of calcium and it's utilization. Would be odd, seeing as standard dosage is about 1000 mg per day. But worth checking out, in case there's a specific reason.

Pam R.

scent of cedar

New Member
What an interesting thread, Sunny.

My last bone density was five years ago. I was okay, then. (Sometimes, I feel like I am in Confession about medical things. Forgive me doctor, for I have sinned. It has been five years since my last bone density scan....)