Scoring Coronary Artery Calcium Levels
Calcium deposits can be found in many parts of the body at higher ages. A coronary calcium scan is typically done to check for the buildup of calcium in plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart. Coronary calcium scan scores range from 0 to more than 400. A calcium score of zero means no identifiable plaque, while a score of above 400 indicates extensive atherosclerotic plaque and significant coronary narrowing.9
Calcification of the artery walls is common at age > 65 years. Calcification of the breast is often seen in women above the age of 50 years. Calcium deposits are easily detected by x-ray images because calcification is composed of calcium phosphate, similar to that in bone.
Coronary calcium is part of the development of atherosclerosis it occurs exclusively in atherosclerotic arteries and is absent in normal vessel walls. The amount of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries, assessed by a calcium score, appears to be a better cardiovascular disease risk predictor than standard factors.9
But What If Youre Not Getting Enough Calcium From Your Diet Alone
Perhaps youre a little inconsistent on it some days, you do get enough other days, youre not reaching your target. Well, when youre dealing with the possibility of osteoporosis, you cant afford to be casual about calcium consumption.
So if you think youre not getting enough calcium in your diet each day, you have two choices in this case: either start religiously eating calcium-rich foods or take calcium supplements.
Because those of us with early menopause and premature ovarian failure are at such a high risk for bone loss, calcium supplementation usually makes a lot of sense. Its easy and you can be assured that youre getting a certain level of calcium.
It does get a little confusing, though, when it comes time to choosing the optimal calcium supplement. There are so many out there all purporting to do the same thing, but there are differences between the different forms.
This is the form of calcium most often recommended by doctors, chiefly because it is the most easily absorbed. This claim to fame may not apply to you since it is older women who tend to have more problems with digestion as their stomach acid production goes down, not women in their 20s and 30s.
In addition, in spite of its stomach-friendly reputation, it may cause stomach upset or diarrhea. If you choose this type of calcium, you should take it between meals or just before bedtime.
Tribasic Calcium Phosphate
Calcium Lactate / Calcium Gluconate
Who Should Take Calcium Supplements
When your calcium intake is insufficient, your body will remove calcium from your bones, making them weak and brittle. This can result in osteoporosis.
Since women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, many doctors recommend that they take calcium supplements, especially after reaching menopause.
Because of this, older women are much more likely to take calcium supplements .
If you dont get the recommended amount through your diet, supplements can help fill the gap.
You might also consider calcium supplements if you:
- Follow a vegan diet.
- Have a high-protein or high-sodium diet, which may cause your body to excrete more calcium.
- Have a health condition that limits your bodys ability to absorb calcium, such as Crohns disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Are being treated with corticosteroids over a long period of time.
- Have osteoporosis.
Bottom Line: Calcium supplements may benefit those who are not getting enough calcium from food and women who have reached menopause.
You May Like: Is There A Pill For Menopause
How Does Evidence Fit With Biological Understanding
Calcium contributes to bone growth, and vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium. Normal, healthy bones turn over calcium constantly, replacing calcium loss with new calcium. The human body has 2 main sources of vitamin D. Cholecalciferol , the larger source of vitamin D, is synthesized in the skin by UVB rays from the sun. Vitamin D3 is converted to its active form through enzymatic processes in the liver and kidney. Ergocalciferol is consumed in the diet and can be found naturally in a few foods, such as mushrooms and egg yolks, but is more commonly consumed as a supplement or in fortified foods and beverages, such as milk, yogurt, and orange juice.35 Most cells contain specific receptors for the active form of vitamin D. Stimulation of skeletal muscle receptors promotes protein synthesis, and vitamin D has a beneficial effect on muscle strength and balance. Vitamin D controls calcium absorption in the small intestines, interacts with parathyroid hormone to help maintain calcium homeostasis between the blood and bones, and is essential for bone growth and maintaining bone density. Obtaining insufficient amounts of vitamin D through diet or sun exposure can lead to inadequate levels of the hormone calcitriol , which in turn can lead to impaired absorption of dietary calcium. Consequently, the body uses calcium from skeletal stores, which can weaken existing bones.
What About Hormone Replacement Therapies
HRT is certainly right for some people and goes a long way to helping one manage symptoms and reducing risk from certain chronic diseases as well. However, this must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with the support of a qualified practitioner overseeing the prescription and the ongoing retesting while taking HRT. Unfortunately, the later mentioned area of ongoing testing rarely occurs, and this in some cases may lead to unwanted side effects or consequences to ones health.
It is suggested that those with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots, estrogen sensitive cancers, gallstones or dementia should approach HRT with caution. In fact, I think everyone should approach it with caution and test and review regularly to try and ensure it is a safe as possible. The idea of HRT is that it is for temporary use as the body transitions, but in some cases no use or even longer-term use is perfectly acceptable. It should also be noted that the research is very mixed in this area, especially around the cardiovascular and dementia risk/benefit associated with HRT.
There are also other HRT options, utilising what is known as bio-identical hormone replacement therapy . BHRT are manmade hormones derived from plant estrogens and are chemically identical to what the human body produces. These can come in various forms, including creams, patches, gels, pills and injections.
You May Like: Can You Go Into Early Menopause After Tubal Ligation
Protect Yourself From Magnesium Thieves
Even if you seem to be getting enough magnesium in your diet, there are many lifestyle habits that can destroy magnesium in your body, or prevent it from being properly absorbed. The top five magnesium thieves are sugar, stress, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. While its not possible for any of us to avoid all of these completely, just be aware that excessive amounts of any of the above steal away what magnesium you have, so take a look at that list and think about what you need to cut down or cut out.
Donât Miss: Heightened Sense Of Smell Perimenopause
Can You Be Allergic To Calcium Supplements
Anyone can be allergic to anything. However, acute allergy to calcium supplements is very rare. In each calcium supplement, there will be other ingredients, such as caking agents, and preservatives. For example, you can read the list of ingredients of the calcium carbonate supplement Adcal, here.
If you have any signs of an acute allergic reaction after taking a calcium supplement, dont delay and call 999.
You May Like: Can Having Tubes Tied Cause Early Menopause
Whats Best A Tablet Capsule Or Liquid
Calcium supplements are available as tablets, chewable tablets, dispersible tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders. No one formulation is better than any other, its all down to personal preference. However, do follow the instructions carefully. Only take the recommended amount. If its a chewable tablet, chew it thoroughly. If you are measuring it out on a spoon, do it carefully. If it is a slow-release calcium tablet do not crush or break the tablet.
Say Hello To These Helper Nutrients
Meet vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, and boron: your all-star team of calcium helpers. Even though calcium likes to take all the credit, these nutrients are working hard behind the scenes to support calcium consumed from the diet.*
Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 helps with calcium absorption from your diet. And since research suggests that many women don’t get the recommended amount of this essential nutrient, vitamin D supplementation can be a good idea. Our Essential for Women 50+ contains 50 mcg of vitamin D.*
Vitamin K2: Vitamin K works to support overall bone health and calcium metabolism.* Because vitamin K plays an important role in maintaining bone health, you should look for this key nutrient in your postmenopausal multivitamin.*
Magnesium: Magnesium works to support calcium absorption and bone maintenance. But that’s not all. It also plays a role in vitamin D metabolismand since vitamin D helps out with calcium absorption too, magnesium is kind of a bone health multitasker.*
Boron: Boron is yet another buddy to calcium: this helper nutrient has been getting recent attention for its properties related to supporting bone health.*
You May Like: Will My Marriage Survive Menopause
Calcium And Vitamin D Requirements
As new scientific research emerges, recommendations change. We are now rethinking how much calcium and vitamin D is needed for good bone health. There is increasing evidence that too much calcium from supplements is not likely to be a benefit and worse, can be harmful. This was underscored in the 2010 and 2018 reports from the US Preventive Services Task Force recommending that premenopausal women and men may not benefit from calcium supplements.
The recommended dietary allowances are goals established by the Institutes of Medicine the RDA varies with age, gender, and other factors. These amounts would be sufficient for 97% of the US population.
Mounting evidence shows that too little calcium in the diet is harmful, but too much calcium also may be harmful.
The Best Calcium Supplements
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Although a person may be able to get the calcium they need from their diet, some people need extra support from a calcium supplement.
Factors such as age, diet, and underlying medical conditions can affect how much calcium a persons body absorbs.
This article will look at who might benefit from a calcium supplement, how much calcium a person needs, some of the products available, and when to speak to a doctor.
Many people can get enough calcium from a balanced diet.
However, the Office of Dietary Supplements note that certain groups may be more at risk of calcium deficiency, including:
If a person is concerned that they have a calcium deficiency, it is important to speak to a healthcare provider. They can perform certain tests and analyze the persons overall health and diet to confirm whether or not a calcium supplement is necessary.
The best calcium supplement will depend on the persons unique circumstances. The type and quantity of calcium a person needs will vary depending on:
- their age
- whether or not they take any medications
- whether or not they have any health conditions
A doctor can advise on the best way for someone to get more calcium based on these factors.
When looking for a product, it is important to consider the following factors.
You May Like: Light Headedness And Menopause
Potential Harms Of Preventive Medication
The USPSTF evaluated evidence from 9 RCTs on the harms of vitamin D, calcium, or combined supplementation.1, 26 Four studies reported on harms of vitamin D supplementation alone , 3 studies reported on the harms of calcium supplementation alone , and 3 studies reported on harms of combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation . One study was conducted in men only, and 3 other studies included men . The mean age of study participants ranged from 53 to 80 years. In the 4 studies that reported race/ethnicity, 83% to 100% of study participants were white the remaining 5 studies did not report this information. Four of the studies were conducted in the United States the other 5 studies were conducted in Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand . The USPSTF particularly sought evidence on the outcomes of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and kidney stones.1
Evidence on the effects of vitamin D or calcium supplementation alone on cancer incidence was inconsistent and imprecise. Combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation did not increase cancer incidence the pooled ARD from 3 RCTs was -1.5% .
How Much Calcium And Vitamin D Do You Need
NOF recommends that women age 50 and younger get 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources daily and that women age 51 and older get 1,200 mg. For men, NOF recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for those age 70 and younger and 1,200 mg for men age 71 and older.
And dont forget about vitamin D, which enables your body to absorb calcium. Most adults under age 50 need 400-800 international units daily and most adults age 50 and older need 800-1,000 IU daily. Some people need more vitamin D to maintain healthy blood levels of the vitamin, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider to determine the amount thats right for you. Visit Calcium and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know for our complete recommendations on calcium and vitamin D.
Remember, regardless of what you hear or read, always talk to your healthcare provider about your individual needs for calcium and vitamin D and never stop taking your supplements without talking to your healthcare provider first.
Don’t Miss: Dizziness During Menopause
How Much Should You Take
Calcium supplements can help fill the gap between how much calcium you get in your diet and how much you need per day.
Remember, the recommended amount for most adults is 1,000 mg per day and increases to 1,200 mg per day for women over 50 and men over 70.
Therefore, if you typically only get around 500 mg per day through food and need 1,000 mg per day, then you can take one 500-mg supplement daily (
Replies To How Nutrition Needs Change With Menopause
Your blog has raised a couple questions for me. You say that post menopausal women should consume about 200 calories per day less. If I am using the lose it app should I be consuming 200!calories per day less then what it says Im allotted?.. if so I would be slotted about 800 calories per day2) based on what i am understanding from what you indicated about protein I should be consuming 100 g of protein per day which leave 400 calories for carbs and fats combined. .. I am not understanding how that is possible.
Some weight loss programs do really have positive results, I did struggle with weight loss for some time and eating right through the weight loss program did help. Note: Dieting /workout are the keys in losing weight.Checkout my program for free Diet.
Read Also: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Magnesium Benefits You In A Big Way In Menopause This Mineral Helps Build Your Hormones Its A Magic Pill For Hormone Balance
Many experts also hail magnesium as the great multi-tasker because it makes more than 300 body processes possible! Its important for our metabolism, brain function, bone health and more. For this reason, a deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms.
In todays modern world, most of us have low magnesium levels. Poor diet, too much stress and a sluggish gut, affects how we absorb magnesium into our body. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium in adult women is 320 milligrams, but many of us are nowhere near that level!
You May Like: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
How Should You Supplement With Magnesium
The best sources of magnesium are food sources since these also contain other important vitamins and minerals, but if dont eat enough of the foods that contain magnesium, then you may want to consider supplements.
Check with a physician or pharmacist before supplementing with magnesium especially if you are taking other medications. There are several forms of magnesium to choose from. Magnesium citrate seems to be the best tolerated since other forms may cause diarrhea. Magnesium supplements should be taken with food.
Too much magnesium from supplements can have serious side effects such as diarrhea or low blood pressure.
Read Also: Heightened Sense Of Smell Perimenopause
Diet Exercise & Lifestyle
Remember the beneficial effects of healthy diet and regular exercise. Women who exercise and follow a healthy diet cope better with menopausal changes and also help protect themselves against other diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
A healthy diet should include 5 portions of fruit/vegetables per day. Try to include unrefined foods as much as possible, rather than refined convenience foods. Take high fat and sugar containing foods in moderation and dont take too much caffeine or alcohol. Being overweight has been shown to worsen flushes and increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Losing weight has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer . Try to maintain a healthy Body Mass Index . Excess caffeine and alcohol not only worsen flushes but also increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Exercise We should all make exercise a priority and build it into our daily routine. Regular exercise not only helps with weight loss but also reduces flushes , reduces the risk of heart disease and weight bearing exercise reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Increasing exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer . Many women join a gym for the first time in their 50s, which works for some but you dont have to – brisk walking is a great form of exercise and is free!
Use this time in your life to start living a better healthier life.
Vitamins and minerals