That's a good question for your doc and a dietitian. Because the low calcium level is still a mystery, it's hard to know what the consequences (good or bad or neutral) of your dietary intake.
I just did a little googling, and here is part of the intro at parathyroid [dot] com:
"If you have a blood test that shows high blood calcium, then your doctor is obligated to check it out. It is never normal to have high calcium levels in your blood.
"Hypercalcemia is the medical term for high blood calcium. ... . As you will see, over 99% of all cases of too much blood calcium are due to a small tumor on one of your parathyroid glands causing a disease called hyperparathyroidism.
"This page will list all of the causes of high blood calcium and discuss what tests are used to determine what is causing the high calcium. ...
'Editorial Note: Since we put this page on line we are getting more emails asking if your doctor should check you for cancer if your calcium is high. The answer is almost always NO.
"Parathyroid disease is the cause of high calcium at least 99.8% of the time. Measure parathyroid function first and you will find the reason for your high blood calcium. Skip the worries about cancer... you almost certainly have a small benign tumor of one of your parathyroid glands. This small tumor must be removed, but you do NOT have cancer. ...
"IMPORTANT-- There is a lot written about high blood calcium being caused by cancer, however, this is not very common. Let us say that again... It is very RARE for high blood calcium to be due to cancer.
"We know that if you search 'high calcium' on the Internet, you will find lots of web sites that talk about high calcium being caused by cancer... but relax, that's just because there are a lot more websites in the world discussing cancer than there are websites dedicated to parathyroid disease.
"However, if you are sitting at a computer researching about your own high calcium, then you are almost guaranteed to NOT have cancer... you will have a disease called hyperparathyroidism. This must be fixed, but it is not cancer... its caused by a hormone problem. Now that you know you don't have cancer... let's read about all the causes of high blood calcium. Other areas of this web site tell you what to do about it. ..."
So if your doc is not an endocrinologist, I'd see one.
If your doc told you to lay off the calcium, then I would check with the doc before taking anything with calcium in it, like Ensure. There are other ways to load calories. Let us know what you hear back -- hang in there.
Doxycycline is blocked by calcium. It should not be taken within 2 hours of calcium rich foods. I do not know how much calcium is in an Ensure drink and whether or not that's considered calcium rich or not, but I would guess that each drink needs to be two hours away from your Doxy dose.
I am guessing that a whole lotta Lyme sufferers experienced treatment failure from initial Doxy because they didn't know about the calcium conflict and had dairy or dark greens or even Tums too close to a dose.
... or ask the pharmacist about the possible food conflicts, if the patient information flyer that came with the prescription doesn't say. Pharmacists can be very helpful that way.
Thank you! I will just talk to my LLMD about it later today. I just didn't want to cause damage, but if it's just a matter of how effective the doxy is then it's not as emergent as I thought. I guess I just really need to sit down with a list of all the meds and supplements that I take and formulate a time table coordingly.
Btw, I do have a parathyroid tumor, but it is "as small as a grain of rice", so my doctor doesn't see it as an immediate problem and wants to do another 2 day radiology scan. The problem is that scan has had to be rescheduled and pushed back twice because of all of my radiation exposure in the past 6 months (ct of sinuses, ct of abdomen, ct of neck and chest soft tissue, parathyroid 5 hr scan, MRI of C and T spine and most recently my mammogram. That is an insane amt of testing!)
Thanks for posting -- I'm glad to hear you have a plan on this.
I created a daily meds schedule and taped it to the kitchen cupboard, with check boxes for each med time, because I would forget if I took the meds ... it all gets sooo monotonous.
That's also a good place to have a list of what you can't eat/consume within X hours after specific foods. It's very confusing, I know, and that's why the notes taped to the cupboard were very necessary for me, since I had some major brain fog and anxiety too.
Are your Lyme doc and your parathyroid doc in communication? Even if the parathyroid doc doesn't 'believe' in Lyme, he should at the least be professional enough to communicate with your Lyme doc so that you are not harmed by conflicting meds.
You've been through a lot already, which takes a lot of grit -- good for you, and that's to be much admired. Keep us posted!