Low Blood Calcium

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dragonfly137927
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 8/1/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
 
when I saw my PA this week he said when I saw him last and had labs done the only vitamin abnormality was my low blood calcium levels...I have been diagnosed with Osteopenia back maybe 8 yrs ago ...thanks presnisone...I also have a family history of Osteoporosis (my grandmother had it and my mom was Dx last year at the age of 54)  I am not lactose intolerant (or at least wasnt when I was Dx with CD.  Since my surgeries I do notice dairy gives me  more gas and cramping.  Being that I have so much colon and part of the ilium gone is it possible to still get calcium from food or even supplements?  The Rhuemy that Dx with osteopenia doesnt want me on things such as Fosomax (and meds like it) since I am only 31 and still want ot have children so she mentioned that those meds wouldnt be an option.  Any thoughts or suggestions?
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987
 
 
 

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:10 PM (GMT -7)   
A lot of milk subsitutes tend to be fortified with calcium: check the label of your soy & rice etc milks.

Sesame seeds can be good - try grinding them up if fibre is an issue.

And yes, you can buy calcium tablets. It'd be a good idea for you to be on calcium supplements, and I'm surprised you haven't been put on them already.

I won't provide brand suggestions because I'm in a different country.

I'm not sure about where calcium is absorbed, but it is possible (if I remember rightly) to get calcium infusions, is all else fails.

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

njmom
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
A combination calcium/vitamin D supplement is probably your best bet. Bluebonnet and other companies make these kinds of supplements. Skip the ones with magnesium, because the added magnesium can cause problems for people with Crohn's.
 
Because the body cannot absorb more than 500 mg of calcium at a time, be sure to split the doses. The CCFA recommends 1,500 mg calcium daily from a combination of food and supplements, and 800 units of vitamin D. But Dr. Weil suggests getting slightly less calcium - 1,000 to 1200 mg of calcium from a combination of supplements and food.
 
Calcium is absorbed in a number of places - not only the ileum but also the duodenum and jejunum (upper parts of the small intestine): this means there's a good chance you will be able to absorb the calcium.  Vitamin D is trickier because Dr. Abreu and others have found that there's something about the Crohn's condition, itself, which might prevent efficient use of Vitamin D - this time of year, the best way to get it is to lie out in a bathing suit for 20 minutes each day. (My daughter does 20-30 minutes, but no longer than that).
 
The SCD homemade yogurt might help you, because the lactose has been broken down in it. Also, hard cheese aged longer than 6 months might be tolerated.  
 
The following sheet published by the US government shows food sources of calcium: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp#h3

dragonfly137927
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I do have 1 other issue tho I also have kidney stones and they never tested the 1 that passed last year to see what type they are. If they are calcium based wont taking mroe calcium be detrimental(sp?)
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987
 
 
 

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I think this is something you'll need to discuss with your doctor, Dragonfly.

To be honest, I'm appalled that this wasn't addressed (by them) long ago...
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

jpnutritionfirst
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
You have to make sure to correct the calcium level for low albumin levels. The lab test for calcium only measures calcium bound to albumin. If your albumin is low (possibly secondary to malnutrition or maybe liver disease), your calcium lab value may be low when your total calcium may be normal. Do you have symptoms of hypocalcemia like muscle spasms or feeling pins and needles? The normal calcium level is 8-10. To do the correction, here is the formula:

Corrected calcium (mg/dL) = measured total Ca (mg/dL) + 0.8 (4.0 - serum albumin [g/dL]), where 4.0 represents the average albumin level in g/dL.
Crohn's diagnosed 6/08
Organic SCD since 4/09
Remicade from 6/09 to 4/10
Low-dose naltrexone since 7/5/10
Boswellia + Natren's Healthy Trinity probiotic + Cinnamon + Wild Oregano Oil + vitamin D

njmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 8/1/2010 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
My daughter's last lab report said the normal calcium range is 8.7 to 10.2.
 
Calcium from food doesn't tend to cause kidney stones, but calcium supplements do increase the risk. 
 
Theoretically, the risk posed by calcium supplements might be decreased if they are taken with a meal, because the oxalate in food binds with them, but I don't think this theory has been proven.

Post Edited (njmom) : 8/1/2010 6:14:52 PM (GMT-6)


jpnutritionfirst
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 8/1/2010 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
dairy products actually are not a good way to get calcium. the animal protein you get along with the calcium represents an acid load and you end up urinating a good portion of the calcium out. the best sources of calcium are fruits/vegetables.
Crohn's diagnosed 6/08
Organic SCD since 4/09
Remicade from 6/09 to 4/10
Low-dose naltrexone since 7/5/10
Boswellia + Natren's Healthy Trinity probiotic + Cinnamon + Wild Oregano Oil + vitamin D

grumpygi
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 8/1/2010 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Dragonfly: Hi, have you thought about calcium fortified orange juice, Tums (sometimes easier on tummies than Calcium tablet preperations) and if you can tolerate grains - Total cereal has 100% of a persons daily calcium per serving?  Just some easier ways to improve daily intake - as well as vitamins that have ~50% (like Centrum) so anything beyond that is bonus calcium intake for the day!    

 With the next provider appointment (maybe see the doc for this type of discussion)- discuss with them the benefits of drawing an ionized calcium level ( it is an actual reflection of the bio-available calcium and reflects circulating calcium without having to do more indept analysis.  With persistently low calcium levels ( ionized calcium < 1.1) or lab calcium < 7-8 (of course dependant on normal ranges given by reporting lab system) endocrinologists start looking at hormonal imbalances.  More sophisticated lab work is required to evaluate the regulation of hormones that affect calcium absorption such as Vit D levels, parathyroid hormone levels, magnesium & phosphate ratios/deficiencies, hyperinsulin states etc.  Other things besides low dietary intake such as chronic stress, medications or infections can also interfer with calcium absorption rates and they will know which drugs, diseases and syndromes are more notorious for this then others. 
 
Other things to think about are that its not so much the calcium absorption issue as the loss issue that over comes the net absorption -ie use of steroids in particular.  Kidney stones do develop as a result of a variety of structural, functional and disease based issues but are more likely to form with chronic dehydration and excretion of stone forming substances like calcium - that would be consistent with steroid usage.  Sometimes one must deal with the side effects of medications because the primary target of the medication is so beneficial (risk/benefit ratio).  So take care, ask plenty of questions and hopefully you will get the information you need.   Take care!  Barb


Meds: Celebrex, Omeprazole, Liadla, Entocort EC 9mg/day, Vit D, Mulitvit, Omega 3's, Ambian, Neurontin.
 
 
 

Post Edited (grumpygi) : 8/1/2010 9:15:11 PM (GMT-6)


dragonfly137927
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 8/1/2010 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
you mention fruits and veggies but I have severe oral allergy syndrome so only fruits I can tolerate are citrus and pineapple without my throat closing up with veggies I also have many of the same issues I can have spinich, lettuce tomatoes and thats pretty much it without having severe allergic reactions
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987
 
 
 
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