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Low Calcium (After A Year Of No Dairy)
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Hi all

I've been completely dairy free for over a year now (aside from the occasional "of course there's no butter in this" self-delusion to eat things like homemade gluten-free pie), and it's been helping a lot. However, cause I'm an idiot, I haven't been taking a calcium supplement. Cause i'm an idiot and aparently didn't let it sink in that Oh, Calcium is super important!

So, lately (like right now) I've been more achy than usual and it almost feels like my "vertigo" (lightheaded, brainfoggy, sinus pressure) symptoms are coming back. I've been really good with my diet lately, so I can't link it to anything I've eaten.

But the one take-home message I got from seeing the GI last week was: you don't eat dairy. You need calcium.

Right. I know. I really should do that.

So, I got to thinking, maybe I should see what the symptoms are for low calcium.

ding ding ding ding ding!

It doesn't account for the random gastro stuff (I don't think), but could very well be the reason for a lot of other things lately.

Anyway, I'm going straight out to get supplements after work, and get this thing turned around so I can look like a good girl when I see my doctor next, and also hopefully start feeling better.

My question here is: for anyone who has had low calcium (while gluten-free and DF), what were your symptoms, how long did it take you to get back to normal (I know, it's different for everyone), and any advice on things to eat/do aside from supplements that can help.

I also don't do soy (evil!).

I'll report back with findings.

The casein-intolerant idiot,

Peg

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How very interesting you posted this today as I have been wondering lately why my muscle tenderness, leg cramps, insomnia, etc. have been worse. Just started to get cramping in my arms, too, which has not happened before. Just read the lists of symptoms and I have several that make a lot of sense. Could very well be a calcium deficiency as I am lactose intolerant. I do have ghee and even butter sometimes but use lactose-free milk and cream. So, for several months I have had very little calcium. Hmmmm...

Please do report back. I am super curious!

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I live off almonds and kale, which is probably why my bones haven't melted yet.

Managed to find some calcium in less than horse-pill size. I'll report back in a week and see it if makes any difference.

I'm casein (and possibly lactose as well) intolerant, so don't eat any cow, goat or sheep dairy. I can manage very very small amounts of goat/sheep cheese on occasion.

I haven't tried ghee, but have heard it might be suitable for casein intolerance (or is that crazy?)

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Calcium levels should be good if you are not on milk, I was vegan for many many years and it never got low, I believe it actually costs you more calcium to digest the proteins than the calcium you absorb from it. Lack of calcium is normally caused by low Vitamin D levels, have that checked if you can

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Just reporting back: I've been taking the supplements for about a week, and generally am feeling better, more energy (which is great cause it's the middle of the winter and f-ing freezing out), less achy, etc.

Of course, It's also been two weeks on my "make everything at home or else" challenge, which more or less guaratees I haven't touched gluten, dairy or soy, which means that my poor gut ought to be recovered from the xmas insanity.

I've also been remembering to take my vitamin D too, so that might also be helping.

In any case, having a bit extra to pick up the slack from no dairy can't hurt.

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I recently figured out that I need more calcium in my diet. I am gluten, soy, dairy, corn, and a couple other things free. So supplements don't work for me...they either have gluten or corn or soy.

I started eating cooked kale for breakfast. Lots of it, as it takes a whole bunch to give that full feeling. I also learned about a product called blackstrap molasses which contains both calcium and magnesium in equal amounts. I haven't added it to any foods yet. I was eating lots of nuts and nut butters but I think consumed too much one week and felt kinda sick from it. Oh, but I did buy some calcium enriched orange juice. It tastes awful to me (too sweet and not fresh) but at least it is another source of calcium.

Glad you are feeling better!

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Uh, have you had your vit B12 levels tested? And vit D?

Because while calcium is super important for bones and stuff, your symptoms seem more in line with a vit B12 deficiency, or possibly vit D, both of which are super common with celiac. Also with no dairy in our diet, we have to work extra hard to get these vitamins. Especially if you don't eat a lot of meat for the B12.

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B12 is an interesting one, while I was still eating tons of glutens I had a HUUUGE swollen abdomen which was very unusual for me. B12 shots actually stopped the bloating even while still eating gluten so it seems to me the common bloating that comes with being gluten-sick is the B12 deficiency that inevitably comes with a damaged small intestine and not the gluten itself causing that symptom. On the other hand B12 and Vit D deficiency also have very similar symptoms (apart from the bloating) the tiredness and lack of energy and generally feeling bad even low sex drive that's temporarily cured with a b12 shot is fixed permanently with a good Vit D level

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oy! drinking the milk of an other species, we are the only ones to do that! check out other sources of Ca++! Vitamin D, very important, having suffiecient levels aids in Ca++ absorbtion. often cramping is too little mag rather than too little Ca++.

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Another vote for vitamin D. Don't forget about weight bearing exercise, bone density is enhanced by weight training.

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Went to see a dietician last week and the one thing she picked up on was calcium supplementation now that I've cut right back on dairy (lactose was giving me gastric pain which was higher up than my "gluten pain"). She suggested 1500mg a day but it's pretty hard to hit that with normal diet - I eat alot of sardines and there is quite a bit of calcium in those among lots of other good stuff. Are there any risks with taking calcium supplements? Was just thinking about possible kidney issues? Many thanks people....

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I've slacked off in my CA supplement taking, but am still feeling a lot better. Might have just needed a boost. Also, trying to remember ot take my Vitamin D and occasionally take B12 supplement.

I do eat meat, and nuts, and kale, and many other things that help things out naturally.

AnnJay, check your local health food/supplements store, if you have one nearby, for gluten/dairy/soy/etc free supplements. I've had no trouble finding safe ones. The hard part is finding some that aren't too massive to swallow!

I carry piles of books/files around all day. Does that count as weight-training? (lol)

Cheers

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