Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Calcium builds strong bones, right? And women want strong bones, yes? If you are a Healthy Person, you have already given up all dairy, but you make sure to get your calcium through spinach, nuts, and the occasional supplement.
Remember Viactiv? I was so excited when as a kid, I found out the drug store sold caramel candies that also gave me calcium. More is more, so I would eat 4-5 of them, knowing smugly that my calcium levels were going to be kick-ass.
Later in life, I realized that all of that sugar was probably not great for me, but I did take calcium pills and drink lots of fat free milk. I will say, I have never broken a bone in my life. But once, in eighth grade, I did fall on my rollerblades, wearing a backpack, and the backpack flipped over my head. I hyperextended my elbow as I gracefully tried to catch myself. I think I cracked something in there, but the doctor told my mother he could not see anything on the X-Ray because there were so many fatty deposits in my arm. Humiliating. But nothing officially broken. Viactiv for the win!
What if everything They told you was a lie?
That may be an exaggeration. Not everything. But most things. Like when They say you need lots of calcium to be a healthy woman with strong bones.
That part, They have right. What They neglect to tell you is that calcium is part of the symphony of minerals that your bones need. Bones are actually made of lots of things. Like:
If you overdo a single component, you can be absolutely sure that the body will suffer.
Calcium is a contracting agent, and must be antagonized by its counterpart, magnesium. Magnesium is a relaxant. And it is extremely important for over 3000 functions in the body. What do you think happens when you overdo a contracting, calcifying agent in the body?
-high blood pressure
The list goes on.
Here is the deal: it is not necessarily that we have overdosed ourselves on calcium. It is the fact that we have underdosed ourselves on the other essential minerals.
I am deep into research on micronutrients right now. Like, over 2500 pages deep. I am bragging. The research is compelling. Micronutrients are where it is at, ladies.
Think about this: what is your biggest physical problem? (Your biggest actual problem is that you live in a fallen and sinful world and you are marching slowly toward inevitable death, but stick with me here.) Your main complaint? Now, what are the additional complaints that go along with that main complaint? Is it a single problem you have? Usually not.
Here is a list of the most common problems I see in my private practice:
-resistant weight loss
Do you have these problems?
It is possible, and even probable, that hypothyroid and rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease and obesity and autism share a common genesis: lack of essential nutrients. Micronutrients. Obviously, the majority of us get plenty of the macronutrients (you know by now I want you to eat more fat by now, right?), but most of us are starving
Does this scenario ever happen to you? You eat a healthy dinner- protein, a healthy carb, and a bit of fat. Two hours later, you are ravenous. Your brain tells your tummy that it just ate a few hours ago. But you are hungry. Hungry. So you break into the Girl Scout cookies and agonize over whether or not you will share this fact with your friendly neighborhood Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist.
Do you know what she will tell you?
It is not your fault. This is not a New Age Copout, like the reason you are an asshole to everyone around you is because you have repressed childhood issues. Okay, please don't send me hate mail. That is not a copout. I just don't want to be on the receiving end of your issues. Neither does anyone else. You're welcome.
This is legit. Your body is starving and it is asking for nutrients through the consumption of food, any food. So you eat cookies and feel terrible, physically and metaphorically.
When really, your body is just asking you for some balanced micronutrients. Plenty of calcium, but also plenty of potassium, magnesium, and sodium.
Sodium? Hey, fella! My doctor has me on a low salt diet.
Yay! Well done!
No, just kidding. Not well done. You need lots of salt. Real salt, sea salt. Not that iodized table salt crap. They are right about that, you don't need that. But real salt, you need that. There is a complex interplay of intracellular and extracellular fluid exchange that needs to happen for energy production and exchange. Real salt helps that happen.
But remember, we need All of the Things, not just sodium. We need potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium in proper amounts. When these are stable, other things get stable. Like mood, energy, libido, and immunity.
Check out what happens when one of the things is out of whack:
In this graphic, which I made straight from "The Calcium Lie" from Dr. Robert Thompson and Kathleen Barnes, we can see the progression of what happens when you have excess calcium in the body. Which I did. And do. It showed up again on my Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. It is difficult to break down that calcium shell.
I know it is dense, but please take a moment to study it and think about the implications.
Here is the long and short to of it:
Too much calcium in combination with a relative deficiency of magnesium or other co-factors can lead to things like diabetes or thyroid disease.
So please consider taking your magnesium.
The RDA for magnesium is about 400 mg/day. Less for women. (Side tangent- I learned this week that it is speculated that RDAs were based on the average WW1 soldier's needs. Please note: it is 2018. Our soil is depleted. We are all exposed to glyphosate and BPA. Please up these ranges, FDA!)
Underground nutrition proponents recommend
5mg magnesium/ 1lb body weight.
I'm comfortable with this range since magnesium is water soluble. You poop out the extra. Who could be mad about pooping more? (Unless of course, you are IBS-D. IF this is the case, we should talk.)
If you think have calcium excess, consider taking more magnesium. IF you have no idea, consider letting me run a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. It is the cheapest functional medicine test available, and is quite telling.
And for heaven's sake, eat real salt for sodium. And drink unflavored coconut water for potassium.
What do you think about this?
Let me know on Facebook. I love our discussions.