Calcet is a nutritional supplement containing calcium and Vitamin D. Brand names include Citrical, Os-Cal, Calcet Creamy Bites and Caltrate 600. It’s usually available in several sizes of pills and in chewable tablets. Calcet should be taken with food and should not combined with other calcium supplements. Although an over the counter nutritional remedy, doctors may prescribe it for patients suffering from calcium deficiency, low blood calcium (hypocalcemia), bone loss or someone in a high risk category of developing osteoporosis.
Sometimes patients may be able to get nutritional supplements like calcet for free is thy have a doctor’s prescription. In Europe, it is normal for chemists (pharmacists) to fill out prescriptions for vitamins, supplements or herbs. This is seen less frequently in America. Individual patients would have to check with their health insurance companies or health care plans in order to see who pays for the calcet.
Women will be far more likely to be prescribed calcet supplements than men. When pregnant and nursing, their bodies will strip the calcium from their bones in order to create and feed the baby. As women age, their bones become weaker. It is thought that the sex hormones help in maintaining bone health, so when a woman goes through menopause, her bones lose these helpful hormones.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a woman who dies of old age has lost about 50% of the trabecular bone, or the sponge like inner material inside of all of bones. She also loses 30% of the bones’ hard outer parts, called the cortical bone. About half of the cortical bone loss happens within ten years of her last period. Any woman going through menopause should begin annual screening of her bone density in order to see if she needs supplements or medication.
Low Blood Calcium
Bones and mother’s milk aren’t the only body parts that need calcium. The blood does, too. When the blood doesn’t get enough calcium, the blood will take what it needs from the body’s calcium banks (bones.) Hypocalcemia can potentially kill a person. Both men and women can get low blood calcium.
The Cleveland Clinic states that the most common cause of low blood calcium is from thyroid problems, especially if a person has needed neck or thyroid surgery. Other causes include chemotherapy drugs, breast cancer, prostate cancer, acute pancreatitis, Vitamin D deficiency and kidney failure.
Symptoms can be very serious, including seizures, loss of the ability to touch, strange tingling in the hands, mouth or tongue, abnormal heartbeat and painful muscle cramps. Anyone exhibiting these symptoms should call an ambulance immediately.
WebMD. “Calcet Oral.” http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-14973-Calcet+Oral.aspx?drugid=14973&drugname=Calcet+Oral&source=0
Arthritis Foundation. “Rate of Bone Loss During Menopause.” http://www.arthritis.org/rate-bone-loss-menopause.php
Cleveland Clinc. “Hypocalcemia.” http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/hypocalcemia/