What happens if you eat too many Tums?

We know about this link between calcium and health problems partially because it used to be quite a common syndrome. Back in the day, the only method we had to treat peptic ulcer disease (in which an ulcer forms in the stomach lining) was with a combination of milk and sodium bicarbonate, and then later calcium bicarbonate. It was not uncommon for this to lead to something doctors dubbed “milk-alkali syndrome,” which causes high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia), which can cause irregular heartbeat, metabolic alkalosis (too basic of a pH in the blood), and acute kidney injury. Researchers think the kidney problems result from too much calcium and neutralizing agents building up in the kidneys, which prevents them from being able to filter these compounds out…

So how many Tums can you take and how often can you take Tums? According to one report on recent cases of milk-alkali syndrome, the question is almost impossible to answer for the general population. When calcium carbonate was used to treat peptic ulcers, doctors often gave patients 20 to 60 grams of the neutralizing agent per day, and they noted, on average, that up to 35 percent of patients developed toxic symptoms. Other case reports show that people who took just 4 to 12 grams a day (that’s even less than the recommended maximum for Tums) went on to develop the syndrome. That same case report of milk-alkali syndrome found instances of the syndrome in people taking calcium carbonate daily to supplement their calcium intake.