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Calcium Supplements If Allergic to Shellfish

By Carole Anne Tomlinson

Calcium, a mineral needed by your body for strong bones and teeth, occurs in different forms of calcium supplements. Some of these contain shellfish. Shellfish allergies can start with a rash and continue onto more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath and airway closure. If you suffer from shellfish allergies, tell your doctor. He will suggest or prescribe a calcium supplement that does not contain shellfish.

Calcium in Diet

Before beginning a calcium supplement, pay attention to what you eat daily. Calcium-rich foods remain important in your diet. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products such as milk and cheese. Other nondairy sources include yogurt, tofu and vegetables, including broccoli, kale and Chinese cabbage. Foods fortified with calcium include fortified cereals, juices and breads. The daily recommended intake of calcium is 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams for an adult. This amount of calcium is found in three cups of calcium-rich milk or two to three servings of calcium-rich foods such as broccoli or yogurt. Two ounces of cheeses equals one 240-ml cup of milk.

Non-Shellfish Calcium

Read the ingredients before purchasing this supplement. Supplements containing shellfish usually include shellfish as their ingredient, as with brand names like Oyster Calcium and Shellfish Calcium.

Calcium Citrate

Calcium citrate may not contain shellfish. This calcium supplement is taken with food and easily absorbed by the body. People who suffer from irritable bowel disease or stomach disorders take this type of calcium supplement.

Calcium Gluconate

Calcium gluconate, another form of calcium, slowly becomes absorbed in your digestive system. This supplement is helpful for people who suffer from digestive and absorption problems.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a common form of calcium. This form of calcium occurs in over-the-counter stomach antacids such as the brand name called Tums. Taking 500 to 1,000 mg of this type antacid provides a substantial amount of calcium and does not contain shellfish.

Side Effects

Side effects of excess calcium include diarrhea, increased urination, constipation, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting. More severe forms of side effects include bradycardia, tachycardia and abnormal heart rhythms. Before beginning a calcium supplement, talk to your doctor. If you have a history of kidney stones, make your physician aware.

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