This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

How to Get Calcium if Everything is Irritating

Hi everybody!

Well, my issue is that I have an IBS and bacterial overgrowth, which antibiotic couldn't help me with (this was a year ago).

EC gave me a horrible constipation, so I started drinking milk (P/UP). I don't seem to have much bloating with it, but my health state got noticeably worse since I started drinking a quart of milk a day. My menstrual cramps were so bad, they made me cry. (I typically dont have those or they are mild, last time I experienced sth similar was when I quit the pill). I also got a bad acne and allergic skin rash (colorless, if it matters) on my face, back, arms..

Anyway, it doesn't seem to work for me. My question is, what do you think I should do to get my calcium? What can I do to calm my intestine to make EC work?

I tried lactulose-based laxative to wash out the bacteria, I eat carrots. Antibiotic I was prescribed a year ago only gave me another bacteria, I don't know if I should go for it again.

Please advise! (I am taking thyroid supplement, jic)

asked Jun 13, 2013 by Elka

If you can, you may want to try some coconut oil in your diet (it's anti-microbial). I have terrible digestion too, but I do much better on the days when I eat the grated carrot salad with coconut oil (I add honey too, so it's tasty) I can't believe I'm just now thinking of trying to add significantly more coconut oil to my diet to help with thyroid/digestion, but I'll let you know how it goes.
Also, I noticed the heat is making dairy consumption problematic..... what about ice cream? :)
Or tvorog (it's different from cottage cheese, no?) or smetana? can you tolerate those? I know smetana has lactic acid, but it's so good in your parts of the world and it might help with the bacteria temporarily. Also, RP recommended me to try a combination t4/t3 thyroid (right now I'm only taking t3) Upping the dosage may help with digestion!

I ordered coconut oil yesterday, so I will try to eat more and see.

Yeah, I noticed that heat does horrible things to milk, I drink cold pasteurized now and it seems to work much better! Wish I could get decent raw.

Tvorog is the same as cottage cheese...or so I think. I never bothered to try it in the US, so I don't know the difference. Homemade sour cream is delish! But I gained weight eating these two combined. I heard cottage cheese is a savory meal in other parts of the world...well here we eat it with tons of sugar. So the fat-sugar combo does the trick with weight.

I am somehow very indifferent to ice cream, unless it's in a milkshake. Couple teaspoons is the maximum I can put into my mouth.

I am taking 20mcg t3\50mcg t4 at this point, it helps somewhat...I can't test reverse t3 in Ukraine, so I can only guess what my issue is. Maybe I should do t3 only for a couple months.

6 Answers

Have you tried well produced and fermented cheese (i.e. parmesan or swiss hard cheese such as appenzeller, Gruyère, Emmentaler)? They are very high in calcium.

You may tolerate it better than the milk as the proteins are usually in a different structure due to the fermenting and production process.

answered Jun 14, 2013 by Bukowski
I did eat cheeses and didn't notice them having such a negative effect on me. But it's so hot right now, I can hardly put anything fatty into my mouth. It comes right back. I guess this would be my option for a cold season. Thanks for advice though!

There are two things I have in mind about this:

  1. If no form of calcium is tolerated, the best way to manage your calcium intake is to not care about it for a while until your health stabilizes enough to tolerate dairy. Calcium is probably not the most important factor in your health right now.

  2. I would bet that your intolerance to dairy is causes by your bad intestinal health. Killing off bacteria will do nothing for you if your body isn't able to fend excess bacteria off. They will just come back and keep reproducing until you get symptoms again. One of the most important factors in bacterial growth is body temperature. The higher your body temperature, the less bacteria are able to survive in your body. If you have a low body weight, I would advise you to gain some weight. Take hot baths twice per day and try to keep warm throughout the day. Check your body temperature multiple times per day but most importantly right after waking up and in the afternoon. Another factor in bacterial growth are your eating habits. If you're eating a lot of fiber, even from fruits, this can induce bacterial overgrowth.

answered Jun 14, 2013 by Dewitt
Yeah, my morning temperature is a bit low still (36.4C), maybe a good time to up my thyroid supp. Otherwise, I carry about 10 extra pounds, I wish I could get rid of asap.

Regarding fiber...I have been eating some sweet cherries lately, maybe I really need to stick to juices only for now.

Thank you for the tips!

Hmm, you've really covered your bases. I assume "UP" is unpasteurized milk without added vitamins? And that you were taking the eggshell calcium with food at reasonable doses?

It's a long shot, but have you tried goat milk, or cheese?

answered Jun 13, 2013 by Dan Wich
Dan, I think for the milk, what (P/PU) stands for is pasteurized and ultra pasteurized but I could be wrong.
No, sorry, UP - ultra pasteurized, without added vitamins. 1.5%.  Not organic. I boiled it to make coffee and cocoa. Pasteurized - skim or 2.5%. I can't find a reliable source of raw milk around...

Regarding EC - I took it in 1/4 tsp increments with and sometimes without food - till about 1 tsp per day. I could handle it in the beginning with a minor side effect, but the situation gradually  exacerbated.

I eat nonfat cottage cheese, but somehow it is hard for me to eat more than 200g a day, which doesn't provide enough calcium...

Goat milk is on my "throw up list", unfortunately :( I find it disgusting (tried pasteurized). Anyone made coffee with it? Does it hide the taste of milk well?

I like cheese, but since recently it has been really hard to put something fatty into my mouth... Maybe because it's very hot, or my body is trying to tell me I need to loose some weight :)
I put goat milk in my coffee and I can't taste it.
Have you tried to make coffee with milk only (no water)?
I always drink goat milk (and eat feta cheese). I think it's a matter of what you're used to. At first, it tasted 'goaty' to me, but now it's just plain tasty milk. Even with coffee haha (and I always drink my coffee 'cafe latte' style). Also love making chai lattes with it.
Idk, I hate seafood, but I could make myself taste it. But the second I tried goat milk, I threw up...Now even looking at the box of goat milk makes me nauseous. Do you know if unpasteurized tastes less goaty? :D
Okay, I understand the severeness. The only 'Peat' food I dislike is liver, but it still doesn't make me throw up. I tried raw goat milk once, and I think it's the same like pasteurized cow milk versus raw cow milk. More like a smooth, milkshake like taste, but it still has the same undertone in it tastewise. I grew up with feta cheese, as I'm half Greek, so that could be part of it why I appreciate the taste of it. If you dislike it that much, I wouldn't force yourself drinking it. It would bring your body in SNS-mode, screwing up your digestion. Have you ever tried goat cheese combined with honey? I think it has a very delicate taste!
No, I didn't, I thought cheese would multiply the flavor. I will experiment! Thank you!

You've covered most things except one food that's full of protein and calcium. Wait for it ! Insects. The outer skeleton is mostly formed from Calcium Carbonate, the ideal calcium supplement. Not only do you get calcium in large amounts but you also increase your carbon dioxide intake. In Africa, they eat a cake made from the pupae of water bourne midges from the great lakes. The other option is to eat prawns/shrimps with the shells. You also obtain lots of vitamin D as well, which supports your utilization of calcium. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but an option nevertheless. Best of luck on your quest to health.

answered Jun 19, 2013 by AmanitaVirosa
Interesting! Do you eat insects? And if so, which kinds do you recommend? Are the shells of prawns/shrimps easy to digest?
Yes, even reading this was painful, unfortunately, but thank you for a sugesstion!
I don't eat insects often, I tend to drink milk and eat cheese for my calcium intake, however I have eaten dried mealworms, they remind me of plain Marie bisquits in my youth. I've had a go at crickets but they like to kick like hell when trying to swallow them. Mealworms are dried beetle type creatures. These products can be found in pet shops. Increasing sodium 'spares' calcium in the body. In groups of people that drink lots of milk and drink blood e.g. the Masai, they obtain lots of calcium from the milk + some sodium and they obtain lots of sodium from the blood + some calcium. This practice is highly likely to protect them from osteoporosis, heart & blood vessel diseases.
I haven't had any digestive issues with the shells although they are difficult to swallow.

Have you tried eggshell calcium consumed with meals or combined with lemon/orange/critus juice to form calcium citrate?

answered Jun 14, 2013 by cbar
I mostly took it with meals, yes. I tried to consume it with lemon juice (after letting it sit for 6 hours) and it was a little unpleasant, so I went to taking it plain. Why do you think calcium citrate would have a different effect on the intestine? I might give it another try.
Well, anecdotally I find it easier to digest.  I usually take a teaspoon or so eggshell powder hold it in my mouth and swish around some OJ with it.  I've found that consuming the eggshell alone can lead to some intestinal irritation, but have never experienced that when I consume with citric juice.  I don't know the reasoning from a chemical point of view, but it definitely seems easier to absorb.

Also, just to note, I think Peat believes a lot of the alkaline minerals can be used to spare the others (at least to some effect).  How I would interpret that, is if you keep tabs on your phosphate intake and consume extra sodium/potassium/magnesium, then your reduced Ca intake shouldn't pose much of a problem.
Well, since milk isn't working, I guess I'll need to bring my meat consumption up, so phosphate is an issue... I will try calcium citrate for some time and see what I have! Will report later. Thanks!
A couple of days ago, I combined eggshell calcium with orange juice. Small digestive nightmare right there.
Did you let it sit first? The recipe of calcium citrate says no less than 6 hours, no more than 12, or so I remember. When you mix some citric juice with eggshell, you can see a pretty good reaction (it becomes about 3 times the volume). I wouldn't want to have that in my stomach...
Sorry to hear that @Christina_ier.  Now I realize, to form the citrate you would want it to sit for a while with the citrus juice like Elka mentions.  

Just curious, how much eggshell calcium did you consume?  Was it with a meal/sugar, or on an empty stomach?  I've found if my eggshell powder isn't boiled (beforehand of course) and stored in an air tight jar it can go bad easily and give problems.  I definitely remember one episode consuming a bad batch and it was a nightmare :-0.
I didn't let it sit first. I took about 3/4th of a teaspoon, put it in my mouth, and washed it away with about 8 ounces of orange juice. This was after dinner. I always boil my eggshells, and after that, bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes. I must say my digestion is rather weak, especially my pancreas and small intestine!

Calcium citrate worked better for my intestine, and somehow milk is MUCH less problematic now. I stick to pasteurized now after avoiding dairy all together for about a week.

have you tried totally eliminating starch and vegetables for some period of time?concentrate on protein and sugar for some time, and get a lot of nutrients. also one carrot a day. aspirin also helps to regain digestive enzymes needed to digest milk. Aspirin + calcium "cure" milk allergy.

answered Jun 16, 2013 by Nemesis
Do you think this strategy would cure runny nose from histamine intolerance? I don't have gut issues just constant sniffles/sneezing. By "concentrate on protein" do you mean including milk/cheese or get it from other sources + calcium from eggshell powder?
Yeah, I am not eating vegetables with a minor exception like fried zuccini occasionally, boiled carrots and onions in my stew.

Also doing raw carrots and aspirin.

Also, eating meat is plain difficult. Although I have never been a vegetarian, the day I have 80g of protein would be a victory day.
Ilovethesea, did you cut gluten and PUFA? Stuffy nose and /or sneezing is an allergic reaction and I can get it easily by eating something allergenic to me.Protein as milk chesses and also meat, fish, gelatin etc.

Elka, protein is important for the liver to work, i think Peat mentioned up to 200 g a day. Btw, I get allergic reaction form eggshell powder, so it's not a good supplement for me. At first when I couldn't tolerate milk at all I drank full fat organic milk, it was the most i react to most of the store bought kinds, but i manage to find some that doesn't irritate me.
I agree about the protein Elka. Very hard to get 80g especially when I now have to avoid milk, cheese, ice cream until I get a handle on the allergies. The other forms of protein just aren't as convenient or cheap.

Lilly, yes I cut both. Suspect my allergic reaction is primarily to the dairy though, as I avoided it for years (and didn't have allergies) before I found Peat.

I think I'm going to have to keep a food diary in order to even begin to figure out what's causing the reaction. I just found this page and there is an allergy section with quotes from Peat that are quite interesting