Wrong-Way Medicine

My calcium was low last year and another doctor said I should drink more milk. I said “ick” (and eating lots of ice cream was not an acceptable alternative) so he told me I could take calcium pills. So I began taking Tums regularly. I told this to the second doctor and she said, “stop taking the Tums and come back in a month.” (Apparently, good hydration when you go bicycling is also good for keeping your calcium under control. I am not great at this. I’ll have to do better.)

I went back last week after not taking the Tums and my calcium was back to normal. But that’s not why I am writing (my low calcium wasn’t really very low and my high calcium wasn’t really very high).

The reason I am writing is that, for the month I was NOT taking the Tums, my tummy was pretty good. Before the calcium excursion, I would occasionally take Tums for stomach acid. The doctor knew about it. It wasn’t a big deal. But regularly taking Tums for calcium didn’t automatically cure me of stomach acid. It was almost the opposite. And I fell into a routine of taking the Tums at times of the day when my stomach would feel bad.

So you’d think that going cold turkey on the Tums would have left me with a bum tummy. Not at all. For the month that I was off the Tums, my tummy was doing pretty good! Isn’t it supposed to work the other way?

Are there other meds that work like this?

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