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Low Calcium Similar Symptoms to Low Potassium/Folate

In an effort to control chronic inflammation, I recently switched to an AutoImmune Paleo elimination diet. On AIP Paleo, dairy is initially eliminated as it may be a cause of inflammation. So, I've been dairy free for a couple weeks now.

In the last week, I began developing symptoms that were similar to Low Potassium/Folate including muscle spasms/pain/weakness in my shoulder, both arms and lower back that would not release, general fatigue, a spot of dermatitis/eczema on my left eyelid and acne in the hairline.

I tried upping methylfolate, adding potassium and adding magnesium. None of that worked at all. I don't normally take NSAIDS, but even ibuprophen wasn't touching the muscle issues as it normally would for me. I was doing research on natural muscle relaxers since I could feel the spasm knots and came across the connection between calcium and muscles (and, as it turns out, my other symptoms). My RDA for calcium is approximately 1,000 mg with an upper limit of 2,500 mg. Even though I eat well - a whole food diet with appropriate fat, vegetables and protein at each meal, I was getting no where near 1,000 mg of calcium once I dropped the daily cheese and heavy cream.

I had some Calcium Citrate on hand and took 600 mg of that yesterday evening. All of my muscle spasms released within 10 minutes! I took 600 mg more before bed. My skin is already clearing this morning, my muscles are feeling stronger, and I'm much less fatigued so far today.

Interestingly I had a blood draw yesterday morning before taking the calcium, so I'll know next week where my actual number was in that state.

Guess I'll be adding Calcium Citrate to my regimen.

Just wanted to share in case this might be an issue for others.


Senior Member
Arizona, USA
Yep. @kposs , just curious: Are you of Scandinavian ancestry? Some of us are really dependent on dairy for good health. For me there were issues of muscle wasting and protein malabsorption (not unrelated) when I cut out dairy. I'm histamine intolerant, so I can only use fresh dairy (not cultured, fermented, or aged), but I'm so much better off with it than without it.
Hi Critterina,

I know that I have Scottish ancestry on my mother's side. Interesting.

I'd have to locate a source of fresh dairy. I assume that for you, cultured, fermented and aged means no cheese or source cream?



Senior Member
planet earth
One of the difficulties with trying calcium supplements is they can be hard on the stomach and digestion for me.

Calcium citrate can work, if one can handle it on the GI system.

There is also a plant based calicum. This is painfully expensive, but easier on GI system.

You may want to try out "angstrom mineral" liquid calcium. It is easiest to absorb for me and easy enough on the stomach. Add a bit to water and drink on an empty stomach. This might help with sleep and everything if you can do it right without pissing the calcium right back out. Not sure if it is related to calcium absorption, but my teeth actually improved alot (healed?) when I went in to remission for a short period of time.

Not sure exactly how big of a dose is important, but just being able to utilize it. that is why I find the liquid stuff best at the moment.

I find that by eliminating caffeine, I can benefit from and nutrient absorption better without pissing it all out.

Not sure if I got that explained clearly enough, but some stuff to experiment with if trying calcium out.

Also may find that charcoal, ciltrantro, and other supplements can be counterproductive to trying to absorb some of these types minerals. forget if these affect calisum though.

I found all this out the hard way... like most of us. I was trying a biofilm treatment at one time when my health was doing pretty good. Turns out after a few days of the EDTA, I crashed and never recovered. It turned out about four years later I tried the liquid calcium and feel that helped me with some progress. I made a connection to the EDTA stripping calcium from somewhere.
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Senior Member
I also had to add calcium along with my magnesium and potassium to relieve similar type symptoms. These are all electrolytes which can be wasting due to adrenal problems.

I'm taking Thorne calcium citramate. (not quite the same as citrate)

I also have some Scottish and Scandinavian ancestry and don't eat dairy, for what it's worth.


Senior Member
Logan, Queensland, Australia
I have both Scottish and Scandinavian ancestry. Even on dairy I sometimes get issues and have to take supplements.

Both hypo- and hyper-calcemia have similar symptoms.

EDTA is structurally similar to citric acid iirc. It binds for elimination lots of things with a positive charge, especially a double positive. This will include most metals, but especially magnesium and zinc. Calcium is affected. I wonder what else is? Its this double negative charge that allows for binding of toxic metals. What I do not recall is whether EDTA has a double negative, or two loci of double negative.