Calcium (and Vitamin D) for Growing Pains

I remember the dull aching throbs of growing pains. Do you? Now, my daughter has had them too. For weeks this spring, she would wake up in the night crying and wanting her leg rubbed.

Then someone recommended that I increase her calcium intake.

Growing pains could be a signal that your child’s body needs more calcium. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Your bones are growing and require an extra dose of calcium. 99% of a child’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth, where it helps them grow and keeps them strong.

What about Vitamin D? Vitamin D helps the body absorb the calcium. A study conducted of children with growing pains showed that only 6% had normal Vitamin D levels. Most were lacking Vitamin D.

Besides growing pains, other possible indications that your child needs calcium are night terrors and bed-wetting.

photo by Colin Brough

Food is the best medicine. I fully believe that. Nourishing broths, milk, yogurt and broccoli are good sources of calcium. The sun freely gives out Vitamin D. But sometimes growing bodies need supplements.

Adding a calcium supplement with Vitamin D works for my daughter. It’s not at overnight cure though. Calcium takes a little while for the body to assimilate (though the pharmacist said liquid supplements work fastest) but after a week or so, the growing pains stopped. If I stop giving her calcium supplements, the growing pains return.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nurse. The only hospital I have ever worked in is a doll hospital. There, a band-aid can fix a heart attack. You can get too much calcium. Please do your own research and check with your health care professional before treating a child.

Articles and scientific studies, for nerds like me:

Rise in Broken Bones in Children
Fact Sheet on Calcium
Vitamin D Levels in Children with Growing Pains

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  1. says

    Thanks for this post. Recently, a friend told me his child had night terrors and would sleep walk. The child also was having extreme pain in his bones. I’d forgotten how vital calcium and vitamin D are to our bodies, especially little growing bodies. I’ve forwarded your post to my friend and thank you for being a blessing in lives.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours; God’s blessings on the work of your hands and heart.

  2. anna says

    Thanks Sandra! I hope added calcium and Vit. D help your friend’s son as much as it did my daughter. Blessings to you!

  3. Kim says

    Both my girls wake up at might crying with painful legs. My Dr. Recommended eating an orange before bed or drinking pure orange juice. The oranges help, like when you are the snack mom for your childs team they ask you to bring oranges oranges have potassium which helps releave the pain. Helps my girls at night. As well drink lots of water.

    • anna says

      What a great idea! My kiddos love oranges so that would be very easy to add to their diet. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing Kim. 🙂

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