Calcium Overdose

Important things you need to know about calcium overdose

Calcium is an important nutrient we all need to survive, but it’s just as important not to suffer from a calcium overdose.  Women in particular need a lot of calcium to help ward off osteoporosis later in life.  The average woman needs between 1200 and 1500 milligrams of calcium a day until she’s 24 years old, and 1,000 milligrams per day between the ages of 25 and 50.  Post-menopausal women need between 1,000 and 1,500 milligrams per day, depending on whether or not they are on hormone replacement therapy.  

So how much of this mineral can cause a calcium overdose?  Usually if the dosage is over 2,500 milligrams, then symptoms of calcium overdose will set in.  This is known as the tolerable upper intake level, which is basically the maximum amount that can be taken without causing significant toxicity.  This amount includes calcium from all sources, including supplements, food, and drink.  No research has been done on what the tolerable upper intake level of calcium is for babies who are under one year of age, although it’s the same number for everyone else. 

Symptoms of a calcium overdose include nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, and excessive drowsiness.  But these are just the calcium overdose symptoms that may appear right away.  There are also more long-term symptoms that can be associated with calcium overdose.  For example, frequent, chronic kidney stones can indicate that someone has far too much calcium in her diet.  Muscle weakness and long-term drowsiness are two other signs of a calcium overdose, as are frequent urination and changes in the heart rate.

A calcium overdose can also cause constipation or diarrhea and frequent, chronic headaches.  Confusion may also set in when someone consumes too much calcium.  In very severe cases of calcium overdose, the person may even laps into a coma.

It’s very important to seek medical treatment immediately if you suspect a calcium overdose.  Treatment for this problem depends on a number of factors.  One factor is how long ago the calcium was ingested.  If it was just a short time ago, then the doctor may decide to pump the stomach.  Recovering from a calcium overdose may take a long time, as the calcium must be flushed from the system before the symptoms will stop.  Doctors will also have to order treatments for all the side effects which occur as a result of having too much calcium.  They will also recommend that all calcium supplements be stopped until the danger of overdose is past.  Calcium supplementation may resume later at a more appropriate level once all the serious side effects are past.

The symptoms of too much calcium may be different for different people, and they depend entirely on how much calcium was consumed in what time frame.  Recovery may be a single day, or months, depending on these factors.  You should always let your doctor know if you are taking any vitamin or mineral supplements to avoid complications like these.