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severe constipation with Calcium Citrate pills? Now trying the liquid stuff..........

Sheri S.
on 5/7/08 8:28 pm - Effingham, IL
RNY on 08/06/07 with
Hi all, I was just wondering if anyone else seems to have this problem like me. I had been taking the big horse pills of calcium citrate from Walmart, but after 2 or 3 very very bad bouts with constipation, I gave up. I checked around and decided to try the liquid form from GNC. I took my first daily dose of it a couple hours ago, but I was wondering what else I could do to keep things "moving" along. The sales guy at GNC reccommended maybe taking some Magnesium along with it. The liquid form has about 750 mcg in it, but I dont know if that is enough....I just dont ever want to get that constipated again.......EVER! I was the worst ever experience with it....and I was taking in all my water, I was taking 3 stool softeners a day, and finally had to resort to taking MOM three times before I got relief. I felt absolutely horrible...Any advice would be helpful here...........thanks! Sheri

  260 Highest recorded weight/223 Surgery day/ Personal goal 145/ Current 139...6 pounds below goal weight 

on 5/7/08 8:33 pm - Marlborough, MA
Iron does me in. Linda
Pam T.
on 5/7/08 8:36 pm - Saginaw, MI
Yes calcium will bind you up -- doesn't matter which form it's in (liquid, powder or pill).  Magnesium is suppose to help, but I don't notice a difference.  My UpCalD has magnesium in it at the correct ratio.  Iron also binds you up, so it might be a combination of both. The best thing is fiber.  I shoot for 25-30g of fiber per day through fruits, veggies and whole grain starch (very limited).  If I consistently get in the 20's with my fiber I do'nt have issues with constipation.   If you can't eat that much fiber in a day, check out some fiber supplements that can give you a boost. Also, just want to mention your calcium.  Make sure you're taking calcium CITRATE... not sure what the liquid stuff is from GNC, but make sure you've checked the label.  If you're interested in what I take I've posted about UpCalD in my OH Profile (cuz I'm too lazy to type it all out again LOL). Pam

My Recipe Index is packed full of yumminess!
Visit my blog: Journey to a Healthier Me  ...or my Website

The scale can measure the weight of my body but never my worth as a woman. ~Lysa TerKeurst author of Made to Crave


Sheri S.
on 5/7/08 8:56 pm - Effingham, IL
RNY on 08/06/07 with

Thanks for the info! Yes, I made sure to get the Citrate one...It has 1200 mg of Calcium Citrate...750 mcg of Boron, and 720 mg of Magnesium Citrate. How does this compare to the one you take? I bought Tropical Oasis from GNC. I was hoping by avoiding taking those huge chalky pills and going to a liquid form that I could avoid some of the horrible constipation, but I guess I was potentially wrong.  Is it just too much to hope for a healthy  ever couple days....Maybe I should buy some additonal Magnesium supplements? Ill try to bump up my fiber, but I was taking it before and I still got all stopped up inside. Its just all so confusing sometimes. Now, I just wish I could remember how much calcium Citrate I should be taking a day...

  260 Highest recorded weight/223 Surgery day/ Personal goal 145/ Current 139...6 pounds below goal weight 

(deactivated member)
on 5/8/08 2:14 am - Santa Cruz, CA
I find that a salad made with romaine lettuce is the  only thing that keeps me "moving"-- Good luck!
on 5/8/08 2:50 am - South of Buffalo, NY
Are you taking 1200mg of calcium at one time???  If so, cut the dosage in half and take twice per day as we cannot absorb that much calcium at once.  Our bodies only absorb about 500mg of calcium at one time. My surgeon has me taking 1200mg of calcium per day, but I also get 2-3 servings of dairy per day. Annette

Pam T.
on 5/8/08 6:38 am - Saginaw, MI
I looked at the Tropical Oasis Calcium Magnesium's label. _Calcium_Magnesium.html First thing that jumps out at me is that a single dose is 1200mg calcium.  So make sure you're only taking HALF a dose at a time.  Your body can only process a maximum of 500mg of calcium at a time.   The second thing that concerns me about that brand is the low dose of Vitamin D.  Only 100IU per serving.... or actually 50IU per dose.  Yikes!  With a doseage of 500mg of calcium you should be taking in about 250IU of Vitamin D.  Calcium and D work together to help each other absorb better.  One depends upon the other.  Calcium taken without Vitamin D has been shown to be virtually useless.  So if you choose to use this calcium supplement, then you need to be taking an additional dose of Vitamin D with it each time. Magnesium can be toxic to the body if taken in too high of a dose.  The recommended daily limits range between 1,000IU and 5,000IU per day, depending on your body type and build.  So be careful with adding more magnesium just to relieve constipation.    I looked into Boron.  Daily recommended doseage is just 1mg.  With your Tropical Oasis you'll be getting about 1.5mg.  And if you check into what foods you can get Boron from, it's pretty easy to get that mineral from a normal diet so supplementing it with extra isn't really necessary.  Here's a link: You should be looking at more natural ways to relieve constipation (like fiber from natural foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains).   Calcium is calcium no matter if it's liquid, powder or pills --- it's going to cause some constipation no matter what, so you need to counter balance that with your diet.  At the beginning after my surgery I was taking MOM and laxatives every few days to be able to poop.  But now that I'm able to eat a larger variety of foods I can control my digestive system better by increasing fiber and dealig with it the natural way. As for how much calcium you should be taking per day.  What has your doctor recommended?  Most post-op patients start out at 1500mg per day.  So 3 doses spaced throughout the day.  My doctor has me on an extra dose because I'm on birth control which tends to leach calcium from my body, so I take 2000mg per day of Calcium (which also gives me 1000IU of Vitamin D with those doses).  I would highly suggest trying out UpCalD.  It's the best form of calcium I've been able to find without having to swallow 4 extra pills throughout the day. Pam

My Recipe Index is packed full of yumminess!
Visit my blog: Journey to a Healthier Me  ...or my Website

The scale can measure the weight of my body but never my worth as a woman. ~Lysa TerKeurst author of Made to Crave


on 5/8/08 2:48 am - South of Buffalo, NY
Between the calcium and the iron, I am forced to take Miralax every day.  I still need to take an additional laxative once or twice a month.  I eat a high fiber diet and drink plenty of water ... If this continues to be a problem for you, talk to your surgeon.  I don't think it's the calcium pills vs liquid calcium.  It's all constipating.  I've heard that magnesium helps counteract this, but I haven't personally experienced relief from it ... Annette


on 5/8/08 6:08 am - MI
RNY on 01/21/08 with
Ah phew!  GREAT information because I have been having serious pooping issues!  Felt like I was giving birth sideways this morning!  I wondered if it was due to my recent addition of calcium to my diet.  Guess so! Bring on the colace! Heather

I don't hardly recognize myself or my life anymore!
two together forever
on 5/8/08 11:29 am - somewhere, UT
RNY on 10/10/07 with
Our doctor recommened this. it can be used everyday.

Take Benefiber with breakfast and lunch—1/2 Tablespoon each time.
Can take Colace with this or not. (stool softener. I use the one that is a small little red pill—not the gel caps) You can experiment and see if you need this added or not.
Take Miralax in the evening—as directions on the bottle (this is a really mild laxative)
Drink lots of water (all of the above are tasteless powders that dissolve easily in water.)

on 5/8/08 11:54 am - Long Island, NY
RNY on 06/18/07 with is the nutritional info on UpCalD, I don't see magnesium listed...I'm pretty sure it's just calcium, D3, and dextrose.

Powdered calcium for stronger bones.

  • Concentrated source of Calcium Citrate and Vitamin D3
  • Provides the daily requirements to effectively maintain and improve bone tissue, helping in the battle against osteoporosis.
  • Flavorless powder allows it to be mixed with a variety of beverages and foods without altering their original flavor.
  • Eliminates crushing large pills.
  • Takes calcium off of your medication list.
  • Will not plug enteral feeding tubes.
  • Transparent to the patient.
  • Economical for budgets.
  • 227 servings per container.

Nutritional Information

Ingredients: Calcium Citrate, Vitamin D3, and Dextrose. Made to U.S Pharmacopoeia (USP) quality, purity and potency standards. Calcium from Citrate, 500mg, 50% Daily Value* Vitamin D3, 250IU, 100% Daily Value* Dextrose value equals 1500mg per serving *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


#53540 Upcal D - 16 oz. Can $10.95 each $9.30 each box 6+

Hope this helps,
Highest wt. (pre-band)/at revision to RNY/current
on 12/10/08 8:04 pm - India
Of course the number one relief for constipation is to have a regular bowel movement. It is important to train yourself to eliminate daily. Introduce high fiber foods on your diet found in fruits, vegetable and whole grains.