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Topic: Excess calcium - Milk Alkali Syndrome


Excess calcium in the body can cause the milk-alkali syndrome -Wikipedia.

This often takes a combination of:

  • calcium supplements
  • foods fortified with calcium
  • foods naturally high in calcium (yogurt, milk)

The most common symptoms are:

  • poor-appetite
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • confusion
  • psychosis
  • dry-mouth
  • kidney failure
  • metabolic disorders

Medical experts realized the milk alkali syndrom following a heartburn therapy that began in 1915 where Bertram Sippy introduced the "Sippy regimen" for relief of peptic ulcer disease.

This consisted of hourly ingestion of milk and cream, and the gradual addition of eggs and cooked cereal, for 10 days, combined with alkaline powders (calcium).

Over the next several decades, the Sippy regimen resulted in renal failure, alkalosis, and hypercalcemia, mostly in men with peptic ulcer disease.

These adverse effects were reversed when the regimen stopped, but some had long term spells of vomiting and it was fatal in some patients.

Milk alkali syndrome declined in men after effective treatments for peptic ulcer disease arose.

During the past 15 years milk alkali syndrome has been reported in women who:

  • take calcium supplements regularly
  • are often dehydrated
  • consume calcium fortified foods
  • eat calcium rich foods such as yogurt and milk

Excessive calcium intake can lead to hypercalcemia, complications of which include

  • vomiting,
  • abdominal pain
  • altered mental status
  • confusion, disorientation, stupor
  • joint pain
  • joint destruction needing hip replacement surgery

A very famous medical text book Harrison's: The Princals of Internal Medicine 14th Edition has chapter 323 titled, Arthritis Due to Depostion of Calcium Crystals, a section with Calcium HA Depostion Disease and lists in Table 323-2 "milk alkali syndrome".

The features of this disease are many and include:

  • chronic joint pain
  • most common; fingers, knees, shoulders, hips
  • mild to severe pain
  • joint destruction
  • may require joint replacement surgery

How many women are having hip replacement surgery now?
Do we really need all of the promoted calcium?

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