Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bone Pills

As we grow older, the trick seems to be getting enough calcium without the often accompanying constipation.  Lovely, yes?
For the past couple of years, we had been taking Perque Bone Guard, an expensive calcium supplement sold by my husband’s previous internist.  I always hated the big white pills that seemed to stick in my throat.  But there was absolutely no constipation as a side effect.
His new internist said he could get the same benefit from another form of calcium citrate that was far less expensive.  So when the Perque pills recently ran out, I went to the Giant and bought Citracal Petites, at about 1/6 the cost of the big Perques.

I can take 4 Petites a day and get the equivalent amount of calcium.  They are smooth on the outside and go down with no trouble.  But it seems to me that constipation has set in.  Maybe it’s too soon.  Maybe it’s my imagination.  Maybe I’d rather be drinking a gallon of milk a day and not taking calcium pills.
As much as I’d like to ignore the calcium requirement, I feel I must at least take this supplement since my bone density is questionable and I have steadfastly refused to take the awful bone-building drugs.
If you are young and reading this, your day will come.  And you will pay the piper if you don’t get enough calcium.  Be assured!
Any recommendation for a calcium supplement that doesn’t require a daily stool softener?  


Blogger Kristin said...

Oh, no! That doesn't sound good. I don't have any suggestions. I'm the worst when it comes to supplements; I try to balance my diet. I'm probably horribly malnourished, but I'd love to hear what others suggest. It's really good to keep on top of that sort of thing.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

What are the side effects of the awful bone building drugs? I haven't been paying as much attention to my calcium consumption as I probably should and I have paid zero attention to what kind of drugs are supposedly necessary for osteoporosis. I'm just drinking my milk, popping a calcium pill when I remember to, and hoping for the best. If I knew what the side effects of those drugs were, I might be more conscientious.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

I take Kirkland brand (from Costco) sugar-free calcium chews. They are like a chocolate caramel. Quite tasty actually. I have had no constipation problems whatsoever. When I was taking the pills I forgot them pretty regularly. My Dr. recommended the chews. In fact she had a couple in her pocket and gave me one! They are like a little bit of dessert after meals. I really like taking them. I will have another bone density test next month and see if they are doing the job. I was showing some bone loss.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- All that walking you do is probably your best defense again osteoporosis.

Cyndy -- The worst side-effect of Fossamax and related drugs is a bone disease called osteonecrosis, or "dead jaw." Not something I care to chance.

Terry -- I will have to look into the chews. I'm curious as to how many mg of calcium you get in each one. I'm also curious about what they use to sweeten them.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Yikes! I think I'd greatly prefer to have osteoporosis than to risk getting osteonecrosis from taking Fosomax. I think I'll go pop a calcium pill right now!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget the stool softener. Just take a flaxseed oil (1200 mg.) capsule daily. Problem gone AND it is high in Omega 3's.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Anon -- I went to Costco today and bought flaxseed oil. If it works, I am eternally grateful to whoever you are.

10:43 PM  

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