Although some vitamins and minerals can help people with constipation, others may cause it or make it worse.
Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and carrying out functions in the muscles, heart, brain, and other body systems.
Calcium is in:
- dairy products
- fish with soft bones, such as canned sardines
- fortified cereals, fruit juice, and soy and rice milk
While it is unlikely that a person would consume too much calcium from food alone, those taking supplements might. Too much calcium can cause constipation.
Some people need to continue taking calcium supplements, however. To reduce the risk of constipation from supplements, doctors recommend taking calcium throughout the day.
Taking calcium with meals or changing the brand or form of calcium can sometimes help.
Iron is another mineral that can cause digestive issues if a person is taking supplements.
Too much iron can also cause:
- black stool
- abdominal pain
To reduce constipation, people can try taking lower doses at first and slowly increasing their dose if necessary.
A doctor may recommend taking the iron pill with food, although some foods reduce iron absorption.
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