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Calcium for diarrhea-be careful of supplement formula
Feb 10, 2001

I just want to pass on my experience and that of a few friends dealing with HIV and med related diarrhea. We've tried most of the Rx's for diarrhea control lomotil, immodium, tincture of opium, Roxinol etc. Shaaman's product was tested on us and those who checked after the results were unblinded had extemely mixed results (I and a couple of friends were "non-responders"). Shaaman charges a lot of money for their supplement and I don't know of anyone who had anything but negative results. However calcium supplements have helped some of us. Just beware of the formula used. Antacids (Tums) with just calcium didn't seem to make any difference. The formula used in Os-cal+D seemed to be most effective. Here in California Med-Cal(medicaid) will cover it if you force your pharmacist to request special approval (TAR). Costco sells its generic version in 500 tablet bottles (125 day supply assuming 4 tabs per day with meals)for about 12 bucks. However, do not confuse it with a calcium formula containing the minerals magnesium and zinc. I purchased this by mistake and all of a sudden my diarrhea got worse -- I'm assuming that all that extra magnesium acts as a laxative (remember your Mom giving you Phillips Milk of Magnesia?) Back on the Cal+D things returned to normal. Thanks for all of the great info you have provided in the past. Mike

Response from Dr. Dieterich

This is an idea for those of you with diarrhea. Magnesium-containing compounds are likely to increase diarrhea so be careful. I am not sure of the mechanism of calcium supplements here, but as long as you are well hydrated, they should not hurt. DTD

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