Is Your Calcium Supplement Just a Waste of Money?

After weight loss surgery, there are permanent changes to your digestive system, meaning nutrients are absorbed and processed differently.

When you don’t take in enough calcium, the body starts to draw calcium out of the bones. Over time, this “borrowing” of calcium can cause weakening of the bones and other serious health consequences including:
–    Involuntary muscle twitching, cramps and spasms
–    Headaches
–    Blurry or double vision or loss of peripheral vision
–    Depression
–    Changes in personality and difficulty thinking
–    Abnormal heart rhythms
–    Fainting
–    Low blood pressure
–    Skin problems including dry, itchy skin and eczema or psoriasis
–    Dry, brittle nails.

We have not included this list of symptoms to frighten you, but rather motivate you to ensure you are taking the very best supplement to meet your unique post operative needs.

Unfortunately, most supplements on the Australian market simply don’t meet your post weight loss surgery needs as they are made of calcium carbonate. After weight loss surgery, there is less contact of food with stomach acid, making it difficult to absorb this form of calcium supplement. For this reason, calcium citrate is generally recommended after bariatric surgery. In fact, it is the only form of calcium recommended by the gurus of weight loss surgery, the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, or ASMBS.

Whilst calcium citrate supplements are not as readily available as calcium carbonate and may not be available at your local supermarket, they are worth seeking out.

Our top calcium citrate picks on the Australian market:

1.    BN Cal – a chewable chocolate flavoured calcium citrate supplement specifically designed for post weight loss surgery needs. You can purchase BN Cal in our online store.
2.    Citracal + D – a tablet form of calcium citrate available at most pharmacies. Note that this is a large tablet that some people find difficult to swallow. It can be cut or crushed if needed.
3.    Swisse Ultiboost Calcium + Vitamin D – also a tablet form of calcium citrate available at most pharmacies and a large tablet that some people find difficult to swallow. It can be cut or crushed if needed.

Be aware that blood tests can’t pick up low calcium levels until it is ‘too late’, so just because your biochemistry shows things are ok, it isn’t a reason to skip your calcium supplement.

For more detailed information on how much of each of these vitamins you would need to take as well as all of your post operative vitamin and mineral requirements, check out our Support Options.

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