Tums as a source of calcium!!

Debbie McMahan
on 5/9/11 7:14 pm - SC
The different directions from our surgeons is hard for me to understand. Everyone on OH says go by your Dr's plan, but mine is adamant about using calcium carbonate (tums) 4 times a day!!
I questioned it and said I thought I needed CITRATE - he says his lab work results support the use of tums for calcium.
So I'm taking the tums, but I'm Leary about it. The only good thing is that I'd probably be taking them anyway for the constant gas my pouch has.
    SURGERY DATE SET!  - April 11, 2011
Our Lady of the Holy

on 5/9/11 7:57 pm, edited 5/9/11 7:57 pm
RNY on 11/25/08 with
Well, if I were you I'd take calcium citrate as my calcium source and use the tums just for gas. 

Even before having RNY everything I'd read says that citrate is more readily absorbed by the body so it stands to reason that that would be the case after RNY as well, if not more so.
Price S.
on 5/9/11 8:33 pm - Mills River, NC

Get the citrate and take them anyway.  Better safe than sorry.  The effects of too little calcuim are too great to mess with. 
My surgeon and Nut swear that everyone on the Optifast vits has great labs.  It uses carbonate.  But I'm not doing those because they don't meet the requirements set.  I do listen to them about diet, just not the vits.

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on 5/9/11 8:49 pm
When it comes to eating plans, follow your surgeon.  IMO, MOST surgeons have NO idea on vitamins and minerals and what WE need. 

Calcium carbonate is not easily absorbed and there is a higher chance for us to end up with kidney stones with carbonate.  Please get citrate, more than likely you will end up deficient if you take carbonate.

Proximal RNY Lap - 02/21/05

 9 years committed ~  100% EWL and Maintaining



on 5/9/11 9:04 pm
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for listening to your surgeons rules for wound care, what stages of food he/she wants you to follow, but when it comes to my nutrition and health, I am certainly my own advocate. I read a lot and do a lot of researching on the web and from books about what my vitamin and nutrition needs are. Lots of surgeons maybe have a couple classes about nutrition and then, they are on to bigger and better things. As far as nutritionists go, I'm all for taking their advise, if it is given by a nut who specifically has studied in WLS requirements.

I had a women in another support group the other day saying that her surgeon said that Flintstone vits were o.k., so sh is just going to keep taking them, no matter what I said or tried to show her. Some people, you just can't give more informed info too. So, I let her go and said not another word about it, I just hoped for her health. There are lots of people who call themselves nutritionists, and I noticed, that a lot of the nuts people are seeing are the nutritionists for the entire hospital, not a bariatric specific nut. So, listen to your surgeons and nuts, but then do some research, on your own, to see if their recommendations have merit.  
I only strive to be, the kind of person my dogs think I am!                               

Of the choices we are given, it's no choice at all....
                                             -Patty Griffin
Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 5/9/11 9:30 pm, edited 5/9/11 9:31 pm - OH
Do NOT risk your bones and your teeth to blindly follow a surgeon who clearly does not understand that we do not have what it takes to absorb calcium carbonate... especially because detetcing calcium deficiencies before your bones or teeth start SHOWING problems can be tricky! Take the calcium citrate! BTW, calcium carbonate supplementation has been linked to formation of kidney stones, so I'm not sure you want to keep taking the Tums unless you NEED them for their intended purpose.


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

on 5/9/11 10:00 pm - Miami, FL
This is one of those things that I'll tell you what I do but it's up to you to decide what is best for you all around. I chose a surgeon based on his OR skills and long term weight loss results. I knew that if I chose someone who could safely get me off the table and through the recovery stage I could use my own knowledge and that of professionals with knowledge on post-op weight loss  to succeed beyond that point.  

My surgeon recommends things post-op that I don't follow. It is a source of contention at every single post-op checkup when I'm honest and admit that there are things I don't follow. For example, he believes that no protein supplementation after stage 2 is appropriate. For me, there are days that I need the extra protein of a shake or bar, so I do it anyway. On the calcium, I chose to use a bariatric formula - ditto with a bariatric iron. I didn't even remotely consider using the products he suggested as after research, they weren't the optimal products.

It's my life. It's my body and it's my responsibility to ensure that long term, I can remain healthy and continue down the path to optimal health that I've started. I'll do that anyway possible and if that means I choose a path that isn't the same as my surgeons - so be it. In the end, it's your body, your life and your choices. I wouldn't let anyone lead me down a path that research shows is the wrong one and could be detrimental to my health.

Good luck!


Lowest Weight: 145 lbs
Current weight: 148.6 lbs

Total Loss: 226 lbs



on 5/9/11 11:13 pm - Woodbridge, NJ
Ok so i have seen this answered here many times so far and i will agree,

you should look into the Citrate vs the carbonate

on 5/9/11 11:21 pm - San Antonio, TX
 Please run, don't walk away from calcium carbonate. You NEED calcium citrate! Most doctors are clueless about nutrition. I use Bariatric Advantage vitamins and calcium citrate but their are other bariatric brands available. Since I save so much money on food, I spend extra on bariatric supplements and would never use regular ones made for non-WLS patients. I'd rather be safe than sorry. It is your body you will be living with for the rest of your life. Please get informed and take charge of it. 

Age at RNY: 55, Height: 5'4", Consultation Weight: 331 lbs-12/1/2009, RNY Surgery Weight: 281 lbs-3/22/2010, Goal Weight Reached: 141 lbs-6/23/2011, Lowest Weight: 126 lbs-12/11/2011

Current Age: 61, Current Weight: 161 lbs-5/20/2016Total Weight Loss Maintained: 170 lbs  


on 5/9/11 11:36 pm
Use the TUMS for gas ONLY!!! You should be taking calcium citrate for your vitamin intake!!!! In this case, don't listen to your surgeon. They just don't know any better - let them stick to what they know - surgery  (i just like this emoticon).

Good luck.
Just a few more steps to wonderland......and believe me I am taking baby steps (ugh).