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What are the side effects of taking calcium supplements?

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Quick Answer

According to the National Institutes of Health, possible side effects of recommended dosages of calcium supplements can include constipation, bloating, gas or a combination of these effects. These side effects may occur more frequently with calcium carbonate as opposed to calcium citrate. WebMD reports that belching is also a possible side effect.

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Full Answer

People who take more than the recommended dosages of calcium or who have underlying conditions may be at risk for severe side effects, such as heart attacks, according to WebMD. People who are undergoing treatment for hypothyroidism need to wait at least four hours between their calcium and thyroid medications or risk the calcium interfering with the treatment's effectiveness. People who have conditions such as sarcoidosis or parathyroid gland disorders should avoid calcium supplements.

The National Institutes of Health points out that excessive calcium supplements may lead to constipation, renal insufficiency, calcification of vascular and soft tissue, and kidney stones. For adults 19 to 50 years old, the recommended dose is 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, with 1,200 milligrams for women 51 to 70. Men 51 to 70 can continue taking 1,000 milligrams daily.

For people taking recommended dosages and experiencing gastrointestinal side effects, the National Institutes of Health says to take doses further apart during the day or to wait for meals to take the supplements.

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