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Can Calcium Supplements Cause Heartburn

Betaine Hcl With Pepsin

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Betaine hydrochloride is a compound used to increase stomach acid .

Low levels of stomach acid may slow digestion and the absorption of nutrients, as well as cause a range of side effects, including heartburn, stomach pain, and acid reflux .

One study in 6 people with low levels of stomach acid showed that taking 1500 mg of betaine HCl increased stomach acidity .

Betaine hydrochloride is also paired with pepsin in many supplements. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme in stomach acid that breaks proteins into smaller units .

One 6-week study in 97 people with indigestion found that taking pepsin combined with amino acid hydrochloride significantly reduced symptoms like stomach pain and burning .

That said, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded theres not currently enough evidence to ensure the effectiveness of betaine HCl or pepsin at increasing stomach acidity .

Therefore, more research on whether betaine HCl with pepsin may be beneficial for treating acid reflux is needed.


Some studies indicate that betaine HCl may increase stomach acidity in people with low stomach acid, thereby reducing symptoms of acid reflux. Pepsin may also relieve indigestion symptoms, but more research is needed.

What To Expect At The Emergency Room

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

The provider will measure and monitor the person’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • ECG

Treatment may include:

  • Intravenous fluids
  • Medicine to treat symptoms

Pros And Cons Of Calcium Supplements

Manouchehr Saljoughian, PharmD, PhD Alta Bates Summit Medical CenterBerkeley, California

US Pharm. 2015 40:HS-28-HS-32.

Calcium is one of the most important nutritional elements for optimal bone and dental health. Several studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health, and it is generally accepted that the heart, muscles, and nerves also need calcium to function properly. Millions of women in the United States take calcium supplements in an attempt to boost bone strength, especially after menopause when the risk of fractures increases. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory forms of the disease also routinely take calcium supplements.

Most people get enough calcium through their diets. However, those who do not may need to take calcium supplements. It is important for individuals to know how much calcium they need and what types of supplements are the most appropriate.1

Calcium supplements are not for everyone. For instance, people who have a health condition that causes excess calcium in their bloodstream should avoid calcium supplements. Too much or too little calcium, whether through diet or supplements, could be problematic for these individuals.1

In this article, we briefly discuss daily human calcium requirements, types of calcium supplements, nutritional considerations of calcium, and problems with too little or too much calcium intake.

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How Much Calcium Am I Getting If I Don’t Take A Supplement

A reasonably good diet that includes some fruit and vegetables provides about 200 mg to 300 mg daily and that’s without any dairy products. A cup of milk adds another 300 mg, and the typical serving of many dairy products provides 150 mg or more . So a well-rounded diet with some servings of milk and dairy products puts you well into the neighborhood of 600 mg to 800 mg a day.

Possible Side Effects And Precautions

Can Calcium Supplements Cause a Too High pH in the Urine ...

Regular controlled doses of calcium carbonate seldom have any side effects but if at all, it can cause vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, belching, constipation, dry mouth, and increased urination.

Other side effects can be caused if the patient is allergic to calcium carbonate or any other ingredient in the medicine.

Any kind of above-mentioned side effect or anything different should immediately be consulted to a doctor to avoid any serious consequences.

One serious life-threatening consequence of an overdose of calcium supplements is a milk-alkali syndrome.

In this disease, the increased calcium amounts in the body shift the pH balance of the body towards alkaline that causes kidney failure and death.

Several pregnant ladies have been through this life-threatening condition due to an overdose of calcium supplement, taken to reduce heartburns and treat calcium deficiencies.

Long-term calcium intake can also cause kidney stones especially in susceptible patients and thus precautions should be taken regarding the dosage of these drugs.

The doctor should always be informed about any kind of allergy, stones, parallel medications going on and pregnancy before the drug is prescribed.

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And What About The Supplements Which Type Should I Take

This presupposes you should be taking a calcium supplement, but we’ll deal with that question below.

Most calcium supplements are made with either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate needs stomach acid to be absorbed, so if it is the source of calcium in your supplement it’s best to take it just after a meal. Calcium citrate isn’t as dependent on stomach acid, so it can be taken any time. People taking medications that reduce stomach acid such as the proton-pump inhibitors or the H2 blockers should take a calcium citrate supplement because lower amounts of stomach acid mean they won’t absorb calcium carbonate properly.

The big advantage of calcium carbonate over calcium citrate is that it contains twice as much calcium. The labels on the bottles sometimes make it seem like both kinds of tablets provide the same amount of calcium, usually 500 mg to 600 mg. But that’s the amount of calcium per “serving” and if you read the label you’ll see that the serving size for the calcium citrate supplements is usually two tablets, but for the calcium carbonate supplements, it’s just one.

It’s a waste to double the serving size. The body can absorb a 500- or 600-mg dose, but more than that and absorption becomes inefficient. You’ll get about the same amount of calcium by taking 1,000 mg as you would if you stuck with the 500 mg or 600 mg.

Is Hypercalcemia The Cause Of Your Heartburn

ByKathryn Whittaker | Submitted On April 23, 2007

There are many different reasons why people develop heartburn or the condition known as acid reflux syndrome. The most common cause of heartburn is because the muscular valve that closes between the stomach and the esophagus does not close properly, and the acid can then move up in to the throat and mouth, leaving pain and damage along the way.

However, there may be a link to Hypercalcemia, and if you have this, you may find that this is the cause of heartburn, and might be part of the reason why already existing reflux acts up for you so much.

Hypercalcemia is basically an excess of calcium in the body or blood stream. Many think you should get as much calcium as you can, but there are times when the body retains too much, and there are problems that can result from this. It usually points to something else going on in the body.

Some of the symptoms of this condition are varied, but might include tiredness, mental fog or confusion, upset stomach , increased need to urinate, some constipation, depression, and in some cases, muscle weakness, and renal stones. This can also produce an abnormal heart rate or rhythm.

The problems with heartburn and Hypercalcemia seem to be two fold.

A doctor will have to do the appropriate tests to find out why the Hypercalcemia is there, and the underlying medical condition must be addressed in order to get it under control.

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Can Multivitamins Cause Heartburn

Multivitamins, especially the ones containing zinc, iron, or calcium, can aggravate the symptoms of GERD including heartburn. To avoid heartburn caused by multivitamins:

  • Avoid taking multivitamins in empty stomach
  • Take multivitamins with food
  • Do not take multivitamins right before exercise
  • Try the easy to digest forms of multivitamins, such as chewable tablets, powders, and dissolvable forms
  • Avoid mega doses of multivitamins, such as the once a month or once a week dose
  • Take smaller daily doses of multivitamins
  • Try meeting your daily nutrient needs through diet

What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

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Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location รข one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

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Calcium Supplementation And Cardiovascular Effects

Some concerns have been raised about the potential adverse effects of high calcium intake on cardiovascular health among the elderly due to calcification of the arteries and veins. There are several possible pathophysiological mechanisms for these effects, which include effects on vascular calcification, function of vascular cells, and blood coagulation. However, newer studies have found no increased risk of heart attack or stroke among women taking calcium supplements during 24 years of follow-up.7

Some scientists believe that because calcium supplements produce small reductions in fracture risk and a small increase in cardiovascular risk, there may be no net benefits from their use. They claim that since food sources of calcium appear to produce similar benefits on bone density and have not been associated with adverse cardiovascular effects, they may be preferable to supplements. More studies are required to prospectively analyze the effect of calcium or calcium plus vitamin D supplementation beyond bone health. The medical community is still uncertain as to the effects of calcium supplements in women.8

A Link To Heart Disease

There have been concerns that calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart disease. Some doctors and researchers believe that excessive amounts of calcium can make their way into fatty plaque in arteries and cause atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which boosts the risk for heart disease. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association involving more than 2,700 people found that there was an association between those taking calcium supplements and coronary artery calcification, a measure of atherosclerosis. But those who achieved their calcium goals through diet alone didnt share that risk.

A 2019 analysis of 42 studies including over 1 million people determined that taking more than 1,000 mg per day of calcium supplements can increase the risk of heart attack, but less than 1,000 mg had no association with heart disease risk. And when taken with vitamin D, calcium supplements did not increase the risk of heart disease. Those who got their calcium from dietary sources did not share the same risk of heart disease as those taking high amounts of calcium in supplements.

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Tips To Skip The Stomach Ache

DO take vitamins with food. If you have a hard time eating first thing in the morning, try taking your vitamins in the evening, with dinner, instead. Taking them with food enhances the bodys ability to absorb the vitamins and decreases your risk of experiencing nausea and upset stomach, Dr. Lee says.

DONT take thembefore exercising. Itll just slosh around in your stomach and inducegastric acid production, Dr. Lee points out. That could make heartburn orreflux even worse.

DO try easy-to-digest formats. Tablets tend to be harder to digest due to the binding agent used to hold them together, Dr. Lee explains. Dissolvable, chewable, powder or gummy vitamins tend to be easier to digest.

DO reduce your dosesize. Taking a smaller dose of a vitamin daily is always better than takinga large dose once a week or month, Dr. Lee says. If you take several vitaminseach day, try taking half with breakfast and half with dinner.

DO eat a diet rich in vitamins. Dr. Lee advises getting as much of your vitamins naturally through food as possible. Sardines, dairy products and leafy greens are great , for example. Shellfish, legumes, red meat and pumpkin seeds have ample amounts of iron. These real food sources are always preferred over taking a supplement.

DONT overdo it. You likely get a lot of vitamins and minerals from food dont forget to factor that into your daily intake. Taking too much of some vitamins can make you feel sick, so you dont want to overdo it with supplements.

Many Calcium Supplements Include Vitamin D Could That Make A Difference

Buy Calcium Carbonate

It might. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium , but the evidence from studies of calcium and vitamin D combinations is one of those mixed-results quagmires. Part of the problem may be the vitamin D dose. Several important studies used 400 IU, and it may take double that amount of vitamin D to make a big difference in bone health. Most of the current batch of calciumvitamin D products contain either 200 IU or 400 IU of D.

Vitamin D is believed to have a multitude of benefits, and many of us have less of it in our bodies than we should, partly because we don’t spend much time outdoors. Sunlit skin generates the active form of the vitamin, thus the “sunshine vitamin” nickname. There’s a school of thought that we need to ramp up our vitamin D intake to 1,000 IU or more a day and ease off the calcium.

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Will Taking Calcium Supplements Deposit Calcium In My Arteries

CT scans show calcium deposits in the atherosclerotic plaques in arteries, so there’s been some concern that high calcium intake might “feed” those deposits. But calcium deposits are a consequence of the inflammatory processes that produce the atherosclerosis and probably have little to do with blood levels of the mineral. The way to avoid calcium deposits in your arteries is to minimize atherosclerosis, which means exercising, avoiding cigarette smoking, and controlling blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. And calcium might help in that regard because it seems to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The results of a New Zealand study published in 2008 caused some consternation because it showed that women who took calcium were more, not less, likely to have heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, compared with those who took a placebo. But, as the researchers noted, this was a preliminary finding that might prompt more research and far from a final verdict on calcium and cardiovascular risk.

Best Calcium Supplement For Proton Pump Inhibitor Patients

Because calcium citrate is not dependent on acid or pH for absorption, it may be the preferred calcium supplement for PPI users.

Chronic proton pump inhibitor use has been linked to an increased risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures. This is because acid suppression is associated with a reduction in calcium absorption, which can lead to decreased bone density.1,2

This analysis showed that calcium absorption is more dependent on components of coingested foods than pH solubility.2 On the other hand, some data suggest that calcium absorption is significantly dependent on gastric pH.1

Calcium is primarily absorbed in its ionized form in the upper small intestine. Highly acidic environments, such as the gastric environment, help promote calcium ionization from foods or salt forms.1 The major difference between calcium supplements tends to be the salt forms.

Calcium carbonate is an insoluble salt form, while calcium citrate is a soluble salt form.2,3 Insoluble calcium salts require a lower pH to help facilitate the release of ionized calcium from the complex.1,3 Patients taking PPIs may have issues absorbing an optimal amount of calcium from insoluble salt forms, such as calcium carbonate.

Additional benefit from calcium citrate use was a significant reduction in serum parathyroid hormone levels from baseline. This informs us that the calcium absorption was significant enough to reduce PTH activity and diminish bone resorption.3


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Stimulation Of Gastrin Release

Gastrin is a stomach hormone which induces digestion by optimal HCL and gastric juice secretion as a response to ingestion of food.

Low gastrin levels disturb the proper HCL maintenance and less digestion leading to increase in acid amounts.

This increases the probability of reflux and the damage caused by this acid on the gut wall, leading to inflammation and ulceration.

Earlier studies on the effect of calcium on gut were done on the levels of gastrin after oral ingestion of calcium carbonate supplements.

The studies show that calcium stimulates the antral and duodenal gastric mucosal layer, the lining of the stomach, to release the digestive hormone gastrin, thus increasing the digestion.

Better digestion prevents heartburn by reducing the chances of acid to reflux up in the oesophagus .

Excessive Vitamin D Intake

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According to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the United States National Institutes of Health, excessive vitamin D intake can raise blood levels of calcium. Other symptoms caused by vitamin D overdoes are anorexia, weight loss, polyuria, and heart arrhythmias.

It was also found that postmenopausal women taking supplements containing calcium and vitamin D have an increased risk for kidney stones. at the rate of seventeen percent.

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