Some people think calcium and constipation go hand in hand. And while it’s true that some calcium supplements can cause constipation, you don’t have to accept that as inevitable. Many people need calcium, whether for a managing a disease or as a supplement to their diet. So what’s to be done when that calcium causes bloating, straining, and, oh, the pain!? Don’t give up, there are solutions.
The good news is that the constipation caused by calcium supplements can be addressed with minor dietary changes. The three biggies are
- Drink more water
- Add fiber to the diet
- Change the way you take your calcium
Drinking more water and adding fiber to the diet alone can make a big difference! Besides, staying hydrated and keeping a fiber rich diet is good for colon, heart, and overall health. You can think of the water you take with your vitamins as part of your vitamins and adding fiber to the diet is as easy as eating fruits, nuts, beans, grains (like oatmeal), and (my favorite) popcorn! If you have a hard time eating all those fruits and veggies, an over-the-counter fiber supplement may do the trick.
But you can also change the way you take your calcium. This is an important step because calcium should really be split into doses of no more than 500 mg at a time. This limits the amount of calcium in your digestive system at any one time and reduces the likelihood of traffic getting backed up. If you find that you are having constipation when using your calcium supplement, talk to your doctor to see if an alternative calcium supplement would be better for you. Because constipation shouldn’t limit your use of calcium.