It appears to be a little known fact among endocrinologists that calcium is closely linked to, and affected by, changes in oestregen levels. This is important for women with hypopara to know as it can cause considerable problems with calcium levels.
Levels of oestregen rise and fall during the menstrual cycle and consequently so can calcium levels. The calcium drop is noticed most. It can appear that your calcium has taken a nose dive ( and sometimes it does) but more often this is the result of an unnoticed decrease of calcium month by month until the scales suddenly tip and you find yourself in trouble.
The solution is to monitor your calcium during periods and if you notice levels falling regularly, take some extra calcium every month to redress the balance. Some people find they need it just before their period starts, while others take extra mid cycle or during their period. One extra tablet a month at this time should be enough to reset your levels without them going too high – and make you feel better too.
Other advice – sugar cravings can become intense as your period approaches. Consuming excess sugar can cause the body to lose calcium via urine so if you can resist and eat a low GI snack instead your calcium will be more stable. More magnesium can help at this time though – an excuse for a square of 75% dark chocolate!
Peri-menopause and menopause
The transition period before the menopause arrives at around 50, is called the peri-menopause. You may notice symptoms beginning at around the age of 40 but everyone is different. The peri-menopause can vary in length, the average being 4 years.
For women with hypopara this means that your calcium levels will fluctuate along with your oestregen levels as periods become irregular. Again, everyone is different, some women may not notice any symptoms of low calcium while others do. If you do, you may need to adjust the amount of alfacalcidol and calcium you take.
Talk to your doctor about this and ask for regular blood tests while you are making these adjustments. Once you have reached menopause your calcium levels will be more stable.