Adequate calcium intake is important to prevent osteoporosis (weakening of the bones). Fractures/broken bones involving the spine, hip and forearm are common complications of osteoporosis, which affect a large percent of the female population and usually do not cause any symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. It is recommended you increase your calcium intake to a total of 1,000 - 1,300 mg of elemental calcium per day (divided doses because the gut can only absorb 500mg at a time) with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
One cup of milk or yogurt each provides 300 mg of calcium. One and a half ounces of cheese also has 300 mg of calcium. If you are not able to reach the above goals of calcium intake from dietary intake alone, you should begin taking a calcium supplement. Calcium supplements are available over the counter. The product you choose should also contain vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of the calcium. (Calcium citrate is commonly recommended as it is well absorbed with or without food, it does not increase calcium oxalate kidney stones, and the citrate in the urine tends to make the urine less irritating for the vulva.) Calcium may be a mood stabilizer in women with PMS and may also help lower blood pressure.
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