Given the necessary restriction on dairy items in the galactosemic diet, parents sometimes wonder whether their child with Galactosemia is getting sufficient calcium.
Ask your doctor or clinic what the recommended calcium intake is for your child. If your child sees a nutritionist, you may ask him/her to perform a three-day diet analysis to determine if your child is getting enough calcium (as well as other nutrients).
There are a number of natural food sources of calcium among the foods acceptable for a galactosemic diet. If you are advised to increase your child’s daily intake of calcium, it may be best to try to increase these natural sources in your child’s diet before turning to supplements.
Advice on calcium supplements varies from clinic to clinic. Below is a list of calcium supplements that some parents are using. Keep in mind that this list just represents some of the types of calcium supplements given to children with galactosemia and is NOT an endorsement for any of the products. As with anything, check labels carefully (for restricted ingredients) and always check with your own doctor/clinic before giving any supplement to your child. Keep in mind companies frequently change ingredients in their products.
- Tums – some are still using, although there has been talk about Tums being bad for tooth enamel among other things
- Centrum Vitamins – “Bone Health” – suppose to be lactose and dairy-free (It is like a regular vitamin)
- CalQuick (Twin Labs) – liquid calcium supplement (600 mg/tablespoon)
- Liquid Cal Mag+ (KAL) (600 mg/tablespoon)
- Multi-vitamins with extra calcium
Keep in mind that there are different forms of calcium used in supplements (e.g. calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, calcium citrate, calcium gluconate, etc.). Some forms of calcium are thought to be more easily absorbed into the body than others. Another factor to consider is that levels of calcium in the blood may not always indicate the actual calcium used by the body to increase bone density. Ask your nutritionist for advice on this matter.
Calcium recommendations vary depending on age and special needs. In addition, levels of estrogen can affect calcium needs in women. Note: Calcium requires adequate Vitamin D to be absorbed into the body.